The Honorable Patrick McHenry
Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Speaker Pro Tempore:
Over the coming weeks, the Administration looks forward to continued engagement with members of both parties to reach a comprehensive, bipartisan agreement to fund the Government and invest in critical national priorities. As part of that process, the Congress has an opportunity and obligation to advance our national security by addressing critical needs that should earn bipartisan support. Today, I am writing to provide you with the President’s request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 emergency supplemental funding for these key national security priorities.
This request reflects how, under President Biden’s leadership, the U.S. has marshalled a robust response to Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine and is now coming to the aid of our ally Israel. As we replenish our stocks of weapons, we are partnering with the U.S. defense industry to increase our capacity and meet the needs of the United States and our allies both now and in the future. This supplemental request invests over $50 billion in the American defense industrial base—ensuring our military continues to be the most ready, capable, and best equipped fighting force the world has ever seen. The funding will expand production lines, strengthening the American economy and creating new American jobs. This request also addresses the global humanitarian impacts of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine and of Hamas’ horrific attacks on Israel, including by extending humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza. The request provides resources to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to ensure we can provide an alternative to coercive financing provided by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and it supports U.S. capabilities and initiatives that bolster security and stability in the Indo-Pacific. Finally, it bolsters our Nation’s border enforcement and will help stop the flow of fentanyl coming into the United States.
First, the United States unequivocally condemns the horrific terrorist attacks by Hamas in Israel. More than 1,300 innocent civilians were murdered, including at least 32 American citizens. Additionally, there are 12 Americans unaccounted for, some of whom we know to be held hostage by Hamas. President Biden directed his Administration to take immediate action and do everything we can to ensure the government of Israel has what it needs. To build on that support, today the Administration is requesting funding to aid Israel’s defense, an unprecedented commitment to Israel’s security. This funding will increase security assistance for Israel as it seeks to reestablish territorial security and deterrence and will bolster Israel’s ability to protect itself. The request also includes humanitarian support to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance in Gaza and support Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and surrounding areas. The request will also help the Administration enhance embassy security by sustaining Mission Israel and our embassies in neighboring countries.
Second, the President has reaffirmed that we must stand up to tyranny and with Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty. We must send the unmistakable message that in the 21st Century, a dictator cannot conquer or carve up his neighbors’ territory. The United States has rallied the world to stand with Ukraine and built a coalition of more than 50 countries that are providing weapons and equipment to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression. However, as we shared with the Congress as part of our recent supplemental funding request in August, previous supplemental appropriations for direct military aid, economic and humanitarian assistance, and other support have been committed or nearly committed. As Ukrainians wage a tough counteroffensive and as winter fast approaches, the world is watching what the Congress does next. It is important that we continue to do everything we can to help Ukraine succeed on the battlefield and protect its people. As the President said, we cannot under any circumstances allow America’s support for Ukraine to be interrupted—we are the indispensable Nation in the world, let’s act like it.
Third, it is critically important that we maintain our focus on the importance of integrated deterrence in the Indo-Pacific for the purpose of maintaining peace and stability. Our allies and partners in the region need our support more than ever, and this request provides resources to help them build the capabilities necessary to address threats from an increasingly assertive PRC and to meet emerging challenges. Key investments are also needed in the American submarine industrial base to increase our ability to build and sustain attack submarines—one of our most effective deterrence capabilities. This request makes urgent and strategic investments—including workforce development, infrastructure, and supplier capacity building—that are necessary to meet U.S. military requirements. The Administration is also requesting funding to materially expand low-cost and transparent financing for developing countries provided by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. This is a high leverage way to provide an alternative to the PRC’s unsustainable and coercive financing and to alleviate the pressure on partners hard hit by the spillovers of Russia’s war.
Fourth, we have been clear that Congressional Republicans need to stop playing political games with border security and provide the resources our law enforcement personnel need to keep the Southwest border secure and stop the flow of fentanyl into the United States. This request includes resources for an additional 1,300 border patrol agents to work alongside the 20,200 agents already funded in the FY2024 Budget; 375 immigration judge teams to strengthen the immigration court system—the largest incremental request ever; 1,600 asylum officers to speed up processing of asylum claims; funding to hire 1,000 Customs and Border Protection officers with a focus on counter-fentanyl; equip Southwest border ports of entry with new cutting-edge detection technology; as well as additional investigative capabilities to prevent cartels from trafficking fentanyl into the United States.
Finally, our Nation faces additional urgent needs for millions of hard-working Americans. The Office of Management and Budget is refining our estimates of funding required to address recent natural disasters, avoid the risk that millions of Americans lose access to affordable high-speed internet or child care, provide additional resources for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program, and avert a funding cliff for wildland firefighter pay. I anticipate submitting a request for supplemental funds in these areas in coming days, and I continue to urge the Congress to address critical funding needs I communicated in September, including for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
The world is watching and the American people rightly expect their leaders to come together and deliver on these priorities. I urge Congress to address them as part of a comprehensive, bipartisan agreement in the weeks ahead.
Because the need for this funding arises from unforeseen and unanticipated events, the Administration requests that the amounts in this supplemental request be designated as emergency requirements pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A)(i) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.
Shalanda D. Young