The Senate on Thursday finally approved a $40 billion emergency humanitarian and military aid package for Ukraine, as the United States ramps up support for the increasingly costly and protracted fight against aggression. of Russia.
The measure would bring the total US investment in the war to about $54 billion in just over two months. The Senate overwhelmingly approved it, on an 86-11 vote, in the latest reflection of the substantial bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for a major investment in the US war effort. Ukraine, which pushed the spending package through the House of Commons last week.
President Biden is expected to quickly sign into law. His administration and Ukraine’s leaders have stymied its swift enactment, warning that they will run out of aid by Thursday if Congress doesn’t act.
The measure’s relatively smooth path through Congress has demonstrated painful images in Ukraine, coupled with fears of Russian aggression spreading beyond the country’s borders, – at least. is until now – has overcome resistance on both sides to American involvement abroad.
“By passing this emergency aid, the Senate can now say to the Ukrainian people: ‘Help is being worked out – real help, substantial help,’ ‘Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader said. “We Americans – all of us, Democrats and Republicans – cannot stick our heads in the sand while Vladimir Putin continues his vicious belligerence against the Ukrainian people.”
Among the few Republicans opposed to the bill, some cited concerns about sending billions of dollars abroad for a conflict whose end point is unknown at a time when the United States is grappling with grappling with economic challenges, including inflation.
Leaders on both sides sought to ensure that skepticism about the scope of the bid did not derail. Senator Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican and minority leader, led his party’s senatorial delegation during a surprise visit to Ukraine last weekend and pledged bipartisan support for the the country’s war against Russia.
“Aid to Ukraine goes far beyond charity; The future of America’s security and core strategic interests will be shaped by the outcome of this war,” McConnell said Thursday. “Anyone concerned about the cost of supporting Ukraine’s victory should consider the much larger cost if Ukraine loses.”
The legislation is significantly larger than Biden’s $33 billion request, which came just weeks after Congress approved a $13.6 billion aid package for Ukraine, split equally between military and human aid. religion. The bill passed on Thursday has a similar split.
It would allow Biden to authorize the rapid transfer of up to $11 billion in U.S. defense weapons, equipment and supplies to Ukraine, and allocate about $9 billion to replenish that stockpile.
Deliveries to date have included relatively expensive weapons such as 5,500 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles given to Kyiv, as well as less expensive weapons such as 184,000. 155 mm ammunition was supplied to Ukraine for the protracted artillery battle in the Donbas.
The package also includes $8.8 billion for a dedicated fund to keep the Ukrainian government running and $4.4 billion for international disaster assistance, part of an effort to prevent wage chain disruptions. global reality as a result of war. Another $900 million will be earmarked to assist Ukrainian refugees, including providing trauma and support services, English language training and housing.
John Ismay contribution report.