‘Fight for survival’: Senate approves $40 billion in Ukraine assistance as last aid package runs out

Written by on May 19, 2022

The Senate Thursday accepted more than $40 billion of additional humanitarian and military assistance for Ukraine because the final assist bundle was anticipated to expire this week. 

The invoice, which now heads to President Joe Biden for his signature, is triple the quantity of assist the U.S. has already dedicated to the war-torn nation making an attempt to beat again Russia’s invasion. It handed 86-11 with most Republicans becoming a member of each Democrat in approving the invoice.

The help bundle will “meet the big wants of the Ukrainian folks, as they battle for his or her survival,” Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., stated proper earlier than the vote. “It is a battle we can not flip away from. By passing this emergency assist, the Senate can now say to the Ukrainian folks, “assistance is on the way in which’.”

The quantity accepted Thursday is $7 billion greater than Biden initially requested. The bundle contains greater than $20 billion for the Pentagon to supply weapons, intelligence and coaching, and almost $14 billion for the State Division for meals assist, refugee help and different diplomatic packages.

Oleksiy Polyakov, right, and Roman Voitko check the remains of a destroyed Russian helicopter lie in a field in the village of Malaya Rohan, Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Monday, May 16, 2022.

Together with the $13.6 billion handed in March, the combined $53.7 billion approved by Congress this year is about 81% of Russia’s 2021 protection finances. And it’s greater than one-quarter the scale of Ukraine’s pre-war economic system. 

In a uncommon present of bipartisanship, Schumer and GOP Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urged senators to approve the funding rapidly as administration officers warned that the earlier spherical of help would run dry this week.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin, in a joint letter, urged the Senate to “act rapidly” as assist is anticipated to expire Thursday. Each cupboard officers promised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy throughout a journey to Kyiv final month that extra help was forthcoming.

President Biden signs lend-lease act to help expedite military aid to Ukraine

Passage of the invoice was delayed a number of days as a result of Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., objected, contending that the nation is already in an excessive amount of debt to help extra funding for Ukraine.

“Until we put an finish to the fiscal madness, a day of reckoning awaits us,” Paul stated Monday. 

Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patrick Leahy stated Paul “induced useless delay” by holding up a invoice that has broad bipartisan help.

 Extra:US aid to Ukraine could hit $53B. Here’s what it covers, how it compares and who pays for it

In March, Congress approved $13.6 billion to Ukraine, together with $6.5 billion to assist restock Ukraine’s arsenal, place U.S. troops within the area and lend intelligence help.

Virtually $6 billion went to humanitarian and financial help for the area.

Contributing: Maureen Groppe

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