After President Joe Biden urged for extra funding to help Ukraine stop Russia’s three-month-old incursion, the US House of Representatives approved a $40bn aid package for Ukraine.
On Tuesday, lawmakers passed the Ukraine package 368 to 57, granting $7 billion more than Biden requested in April.
It would offer military and economic support to Ukraine, as well as assistance to regional allies, refill weaponry that the Pentagon has moved abroad, and aid to alleviate global food shortages created by the war damaging Ukraine’s typically robust wheat and agricultural crop output.
Every voting Democrat and nearly three out of four Republicans supported the bill.
The debate in the House revealed a wide consensus among both parties that there is more at risk than merely standing with Ukraine.
“The Ukrainian people, they need us, they are in desperate need of our support,” said Democratic Representative Rosa DeLauro, chair of the House Appropriations Committee. “Vladimir Putin and his cronies must be held responsible. This bill does that by protecting democracy, limiting Russian aggression and strengthening our own national security.”
Representative Kay Granger, the top Republican on that committee, said the bill’s passage sent a strong message to the US’s adversaries.
“As China, Iran and North Korea watch our response, we must show the world that America stands firm with its allies and will do what is necessary to protect our interests abroad,” she said.
The bill will now be considered by the Senate, which is likely to act quickly.
US President Joe Biden has urged Congress to act quickly so that he may put the package into law before existing defense funding to Ukraine expires later this month.
Since Russia’s invasion, the US has sent over $3.5 billion worth of weapons to Ukraine, including howitzers, anti-aircraft Stinger systems, anti-tank Javelin missiles, ammo, and the recently revealed “Ghost” drones.
A Breakdown Of The $40bn Aid Package
$6 billion will go into security assistance, including training, equipment, weapons, and support; $8.7 billion will go toward replenishing US assets supplied to Ukraine; and $3.9 billion will go toward European Command activities.
Furthermore, the bill authorizes an additional $11 billion in presidential drawdown authority, which permits the president to authorize the transfer of goods and services from US stockpiles without legislative approval in the event of an emergency.
It also authorizes $4 billion in foreign military financing to assist Ukraine and other crisis-affected nations.
This latest aid package also includes humanitarian assistance, including $5 billion to address global food crisis caused by the war and roughly $2 billion for a Ukraine economic support fund.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES