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US House passes $40-billion bill to boost Ukraine aid


The US House of Representatives on Tuesday approved more than $40 billion additional aid for Ukraine, as Congress races to keep military aid flowing to boost the government in Kyiv as it grapples with the Russian invasion, Reuters reported.

The House passed the Ukraine spending bill 368 to 57. All the no votes came from Republicans. The measure now heads to the Senate, which is expected to act quickly.

President Joe Biden had asked Congress to approve an additional $33 billion in aid for Ukraine two weeks ago, but lawmakers decided to increase the military and humanitarian funding, Reuters said.

"This bill will protect democracy, limit Russian aggression, and strengthen our national security, while, most importantly, supporting Ukraine," Democratic Representative Rosa DeLauro, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, said, urging support for the spending package.

Biden had called on Congress to move quickly so that he could sign the bill into law before existing defence aid for Ukraine runs out later in May.

Some Republicans opposed the bill, criticising Democrats for moving too quickly to send too many US taxpayer dollars abroad. Biden's fellow Democrats narrowly control Congress, but the bill will need Republican votes to get through the Senate.

Oksana Markarova, Ukraine's ambassador to the United States, appealed for assistance from both Democratic and Republican senators at their weekly party lunches on Tuesday, Reuters said.

"It was a very heartfelt, and easy to understand the message: Their people are dying, they're running out of supplies and ammunition. They need our help quickly. Thank you for all your help. Please. Speed it up," Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said after Markarova spoke.

Republican Senator Rob Portman, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and leader of the Senate Ukraine caucus, said he expected enough Republican backing for the bill to get it through the Senate, Reuters said.

"I think it will pass. There will be significant Republican support," he said.

Published : May 11, 2022

By : Reuters