Meeting Critical Needs for the American People in the New Fiscal Year
Over the past few months, the Administration has engaged with members of both parties in Congress on government funding bills for the next fiscal year (FY) that would invest in our communities and people, reduce costs for working families, and help grow our economy from the bottom up and middle out. As it did for the current fiscal year, we’re confident that Congress can reach a funding agreement that will deliver for the American people. But with one month until the end of the fiscal year, it’s clear that Congress will first need to pass a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to keep the Federal government running and provide the time needed to reach an agreement on full-year funding bills.
That’s why today, as part of our prudent planning for the end of the fiscal year, we are providing technical assistance to Congress on a short-term CR. This package of technical assistance provides guidance to lawmakers on funding and legislative adjustments that are necessary to avoid disruptions to a range of important public services. As part of the CR, we are also calling on Congress to provide funding to meet four critical needs: support for Ukraine, COVID-19, monkeypox, and natural disaster recovery. As is always the case, we understand that Congress will consider additional legislation as part of the CR alongside the funding request we are submitting today, and look forward to working with Congress on those pieces of legislation as they are considered.
First, President Biden has been clear that the United States is committed to continuing to support the people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereignty. To deliver on that commitment and meet immediate needs, we are requesting $11.7 billion for security and economic assistance for the first quarter of FY 2023, as well as $2 billion to help address the impacts Putin’s war has had on domestic energy supply and reduce energy costs in the future. To date, roughly three-quarters of the direct military and budgetary support that Congress previously provided for Ukraine has been disbursed or committed, with even more expected by the end of the fiscal year. As we said at the time, those resources were intended to last through September. We have rallied the world to support the people of Ukraine as they defend their democracy and we cannot allow that support to Ukraine to run dry. The people of Ukraine have inspired the world, and the Administration remains committed to supporting the Ukrainian people as they continue to stand resolute and display extraordinary courage in the face of Russia’s full-scale invasion.
Second, our COVID-19 response efforts continue to require additional funding. In March, we requested that Congress provide supplemental COVID-19 funding and repeatedly warned that without congressional action, we would be forced to make difficult trade-offs and pull existing funding from critical efforts to meet the most pressing needs. That is precisely what has happened. For example, the lack of additional funding has prevented us from adequately replenishing our national stockpile of at-home tests, forced us to suspend sending free tests to Americans, and leaves our domestic testing capacity diminished for a potential fall surge. While we have made tremendous progress in our ability to protect against and treat COVID-19, we must stay on our front foot. Doing so requires additional resources, which is why today we are updating our previous funding request. The updated request is for $22.4 billion to meet immediate short-term domestic needs, including testing; accelerate the research and development of next-generation vaccines and therapeutics; prepare for future variants; and support the global response to COVID-19. This funding is vital to our ability to protect and build on the progress we’ve made.
Third, we strongly urge Congress to provide critical resources to bolster our efforts to fight monkeypox. From the outset of the current outbreak, the Administration has pulled every lever to stop the spread of the virus, including depleting significant reserves from our national stockpile to make over 1.1 million vials of vaccine available to states and cities across the country. While we have accelerated the distribution of hundreds of thousands of vaccines, made testing more available, and expanded access to tens of thousands of courses of treatment to reach the highest-risk population, we cannot let up until we end the current outbreak and are prepared for future monkeypox or smallpox outbreaks. To continue meeting the fast-evolving threat of monkeypox, successfully end the current outbreak, and prepare for any future outbreaks, we’re asking Congress for $3.9 billion to help ensure ready access to vaccinations, testing, treatment, and operational support for the American people, as well as $600 million to do our part to combat the spread globally. This funding will also help ensure the United States is at the front of the line for the best tools to fight any possible future outbreak.
Fourth, the Administration is committed to helping impacted states, Tribes, and Territories recover from recent extreme weather events and natural disasters. We need additional funding that supports the people of Kentucky as they recover and rebuild from recent flooding, as well as communities that have remaining unmet recovery needs as they rebuild from major disasters, including those in California, Louisiana, and Texas. The request also includes funding to address wildfires, droughts, floods, extreme heat, and to increase electric grid resilience.
This Administration will continue to work with members of both parties in Congress to meet these critical needs for the American people, and we look forward to reaching a bipartisan funding agreement that advances national priorities in the coming fiscal year.
Shalanda Young is the Director of the Office of Management and Budget