US State Dept. may be unable to cover projected costs of consular operations
A US Government Accountability Office estimated that the US State Department's carryover balances will decline and likely will not meet the targeted threshold.
The US State Department may be unable to cover the projected costs of its consular affairs operations if revenues do not quickly rebound to pre-Covid-19 pandemic levels, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed in a report on Monday.
"GAO modeled State's future consular fee revenue stream and costs through fiscal year 2026," the report said.
State's carryover balances will decline
It warned that "the modeling indicates that State's carryover balances will decline and likely will not meet the targeted threshold for the consular fee carryover balance in some fiscal years if fee revenue does not return to pre-pandemic levels in fiscal year 2022 and beyond."
The scenarios used pessimistic, neutral, and optimistic revenue outlook projections based on historical consular fee revenue from fiscal years 2013 through 2020, the report noted.
Even if consular fee revenue recovers to pre-pandemic levels in fiscal year 2023, the GAO pointed out that it estimated that the carryover balance was unlikely to meet the targeted threshold each year through fiscal year 2026.
The carryover balance would be $151 million in fiscal year 2026 - hundreds of millions of dollars below the targeted threshold, the report highlighted.
Washington gave Ukraine $2.4 billion in military assistance
Despite possibly defaulting, since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the United States deployed more than 100,000 of its troops to NATO member states, with the US President Joe Biden's administration authorizing $1.7 billion in military aid.
The White House said that since Biden took office, Washington has given Ukraine $2.4 billion in military assistance.
A couple of days ago, Moscow sent a formal diplomatic note to the United States warning that Washington and Brussels' arms shipments were adding fuel to the fire of the war in Ukraine, stressing that this matter could bring upon "unpredictable consequences", the Washington Post reported.