Though Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin remains in Walter Reed Medical Center as of Tuesday afternoon, the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia remains near the top of his mind, a Pentagon spokesperson said Tuesday.

Austin is expected to join a virtual group Wednesday to discuss Ukraine’s defense needs, a meeting scheduled for one day after the U.S. Senate passed a $95 billion package that would send aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

What You Need To Know

  • The Pentagon urged the House to pass a foreign defense aid package, which would provide military assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan
  • The Senate passed the $95 billion foreign aid package on Tuesday

  • Ukraine, a spokesperson said, is in need of air defense and artillery munitions; the U.S. has not provided aid to the country in its war with Russia since late December

  • House Republicans appear stolid in opposition to the aid package, following the political direction of former President Donald Trump

"If we do not stand against aggressors, who invade other another sovereign nation's territory, the consequences for our country's national security will be substantial," Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters. "Make no mistake, our allies and our adversaries are watching. And so we welcome this bipartisan supplemental agreement and ask that the House act urgently."

Singh’s comments echoed President Joe Biden, who told reporters earlier in the day Tuesday that he believes that passage of the bill is tantamount to either standing up to Russian President Vladimir Putin, or playing into Putin’s hands.

"The stakes in this fight extend far beyond Ukraine," Biden added.

Ukraine currently needs air defense and artillery supplies, Singh said — the U.S. hasn’t provided defense assistance through presidential drawdown authority since Dec. 27. The aid package would allow Biden to exercise that authority, which would let the U.S. "immediately flow things from our stockpiles into Ukraine," she added, meaning aid can get to the country within weeks, or even days.

However, the Pentagon currently does not have any previews as to what supplies will flow to Ukraine when — or if — the package passes the House, which has repeatedly suggested strong opposition, following the lead of former President Donald Trump.

House Speaker Mike Johnson told Punchbowl News Tuesday that he doesn’t think he will put the Senate aid bill on the floor "right now," saying that he’s currently "dealing with the appropriations process."

To date, the U.S. has provided millions of rounds of ammunition for 155mm Howitzer cannons, more than 2000 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, more than 10,000 Javelin anti-armor missiles, as well as Abrams tanks, Bradley personnel carriers, artillery cannons and dozens of missile batteries, per Defense Department data.

Austin expects to be released from Walter Reed Tuesday night, Singh said, and a report from his physicians regarding his health is expected to follow.