U.S. approves $13.6B of aid to Ukraine as part of $1.5T funding bill – National

The US Senate on Thursday passed legislation providing $1.5 trillion to fund the federal government through September 30 and allocating $13.6 billion in aid. Ukraine.

The 2,700-page bill passed in a bipartisan 68-31 vote, a day after the House passed the package.

chairperson Joe Biden expected to sign the bill into law, the containment agency will close by Friday’s midnight deadline when existing US government funds expire.

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“We are keeping our promise to support Ukraine as they fight for their lives against the evil Vladimir Putin,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, referring to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. President of Russia, who staged a major attack against the neighboring country.

Aid to Ukraine is designed to finance ammunition and other military supplies, as well as humanitarian assistance.

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The act was passed after months of negotiations over federal government funding and thus policy priorities.

It also comes as lawmakers jostle to show support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian forces, with Democrats and Republicans arguing that the Biden administration must do more to help. Kyiv.

Click to play video: 'Ukrainian civilians bear the brunt of Russia's slow advance'

Ukrainian civilians bear the brunt of Russia’s slow progress

Ukrainian civilians bear the brunt of Russia’s slow progress

On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that this Ukraine aid package would likely be followed by additional measures to help Kyiv fight Russia and rebuild after devastation caused by the wars. Moscow’s attack.

On Thursday, ahead of the vote, Republican senators called on the Biden administration to send Ukraine the fighter jets that the country’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had requested. The Biden administration argues that supplying fighters, even if they are supplied by Poland, would dangerously escalate the conflict.

The House of Representatives also passed a bill banning Russian oil imports and calling for a review of Russia’s participation in a number of international trade programs, including the World Trade Organization.

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The fate of that measure in the Senate is unclear. Biden is expected to call on Friday for an end to normal trade relations with Russia.

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In addition to providing money for ammunition and other military supplies as well as humanitarian aid to the Ukrainians, the law also funds regular U.S. military programs and a wide range of non-defense activities to the United States. through September 30, including funds for infrastructure projects mandated by a previously bipartisan package.

Sen. Richard Shelby, a senior Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, welcomed the spending bill increasing defense spending by nearly $42 billion from last year to a total of $782 billion.

If the legislation is not passed by midnight Friday, federal agencies will have to begin laying off workers and suspending government programs deemed unnecessary.

The Senate also passed a bill that would block an expansion of existing federal funding through the end of Tuesday to give congressional secretaries the time they need to handle the “omnibus” legislation – a chore that can be overwhelming. Friday midnight.

That ensures uninterrupted government services before Biden gets the omnibus bill from Congress to sign into law.

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