Congressmen approved more aid than President Biden requested.
The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved a package of more than $40 billion in aid to Ukraine in an effort by Congress to avoid a break in defense assistance and support the government in Kyiv.
The bill was approved by 368 votes in favor with 57 against and was sent to the Senate, while Washington is increasing its support for Ukraine to help it resist the Russian troops.
At the end of April, Biden asked Congress to approve additional assistance to Ukraine in the amount of $ 33 billion, but lawmakers decided to increase the volume of military and humanitarian aid.
White House Spokeswoman Jen Psaki thanked lawmakers for their effective work and noted that the White House “highly appreciates the strong bipartisan support for President Biden’s proposal to provide the necessary support to Ukraine in the field of security, economy, as well as humanitarian and food issues.”
“Along with the help from our allies and partners, our support played a critical role in the victory of Ukrainians in the battle for Kyiv and in protecting their freedoms,” Psaki stressed.
“Time is of the utmost importance, and we cannot wait,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to House members. “This package, which relies on the strong support already provided by Congress, will be crucial to helping Ukraine defend not only its country, but also democracy around the world.”
After sending the letter, Pelosi met with President Joe Biden at the White House to discuss her recent visit to Ukraine. Earlier, the president asked Congress to promptly send the bill to him for signature.
Many lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, have said they will support assistance to Ukraine. Democrats have a slight advantage in Congress, but Republican votes will be required for Senate approval.
Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova on Tuesday met with senators from the Democratic and Republican Parties at their weekly party dinners.
“It was a very sincere and understandable message: their people are dying, they are running out of supplies and ammunition. They urgently need our help. Thank you for any of our help. Please speed it up,” Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said.
The package provides for the allocation of $6 billion in security assistance, including training, equipment, weapons and support. Another $ 8.7 billion is expected to be allocated to replenish stocks of American equipment sent to Ukraine, and 3.9 billion for operations of the U.S. European Command.
In addition to these costs, the bill provides for an additional $11 billion that the president can use to transfer items and services from American stocks without Congressional approval in response to an emergency. Biden requested $5 billion for these purposes.
The document also authorizes the allocation of $4 billion in foreign military funding to support Ukraine and other countries affected by the crisis.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, the United States has already supplied Ukraine with billions of dollars worth of weapons, including howitzers, Stringer anti-aircraft guns, Javelin anti-tank missiles, ammunition and Ghost drones.
The new package also includes humanitarian aid – $5 billion to solve food security problems that have arisen as a result of the crisis in Ukraine, and almost $ 9 billion to provide budgetary support to Ukraine.