WASHINGTON – The White House is demanding billions in emergency aid from Congress this month to relocate tens of thousands of Afghan immigrants to the United States
In a Tuesday spending proposal setting out “urgent needs,” President Joe Biden’s administration asked Congress to approve $ 6.4 billion for the relocation effort in Afghanistan, a week after the US stopped its military effort Afghanistan ended. The US is currently working to relocate Afghan allies who have been evacuated from the war-torn country.
White House officials also called for “at least $ 10 billion” for recovery efforts from Hurricane Ida and an additional $ 14 billion for other recent natural disasters – including Hurricanes Laura and Delta last year.
Shalanda Young, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, filed the budget request on Tuesday, less than four weeks before the end of the current fiscal year 2021 on September 30th. Together, the applications total more than $ 30 billion.
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Young suggested the spending in a motion for a “short-term rolling resolution,” which would also give Congress more time to approve a full budget for the fiscal year 2022, due to begin October 1st. Federal government spending will end on September 30th, enforcing a shutdown unless Congress takes action.
“We urge Congress to use short-term CR to meet our commitments to Afghan allies and partners,” Young said in an OMB blog post discussing the request. “The move to get out of danger and protect tens of thousands of vulnerable Afghans, including many who helped us during our two decades in Afghanistan, is an exceptional military, diplomatic, security and humanitarian operation by the US government.”
Funding for Afghan refugees would support U.S. resettlement operations overseas and plans to see up to 65,000 vulnerable Afghans arriving in the U.S. by the end of its month, and up to 30,000 more Afghans next year.
The US helped evacuate more than 124,000 people from Afghanistan, including 6,400 Americans, before the end of the 20 Years War in the country. Afghans arriving in the US will first undergo biometric and biographical security measures. Afghans entering the US after 12 months of presence will be able to apply for legal permanent residence and receive a green card.
The bulk of the federal funding requested would support U.S. overseas processing locations, such as Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where many Afghans were transported to the U.S. prior to traveling, and transportation between those locations and the U.S.
The application also includes humanitarian aid funds from the United States Department of State and the United States’ International Development Agency to aid “vulnerable Afghans” in Afghanistan and the surrounding region. Additional funding would cover public health exams, vaccinations, health services, employment assistance and other resources for Afghans arriving in the US
The Biden administration’s request is separate from a $ 3.5 trillion budget resolution that the Democrats and White House are pushing for a series of social safety nets and climate proposals.
More:“We’re running out of time,” Biden highlights climate change as he surveys the damage caused by Hurricane Ida in NY, NJ
Biden on Tuesday investigated flood damage from Hurricane Ida during separate stops in Hillsborough Township, New Jersey and the Bronx, New York, and used the moment to raise awareness of the increase in extreme weather events and call for action against climate change.
Other budget requests in the new budget request include funding the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and an extension of the expiring authorities for the Bureau of Reclamation’s drought response.
Reach out to Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison.