War: US Congress approves $12 billion to aid war-torn Ukraine

by Amos Kalu

The US Congress on Friday approved $12.3 billion in aid to help Ukraine fight off Russia’s invasion as part of a stopgap spending bill that averts a chaotic government shutdown ahead of the deadline. midnight.

The package includes $3 billion for weapons, supplies, and salaries for Ukraine’s military and authorizes President Joe Biden to order the Pentagon to transfer $3.7 billion worth of weapons and other hardware to Ukraine.

The so-called “continuing resolution,” passed by a vote of 230 to 201, with 10 Republicans joining Democrats, also provides $4.5 billion for Kyiv to keep the country’s finances stable and keep the government running.

The appropriation brings the US contribution to the war effort to $65 billion. It was approved just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed four Ukrainian regions occupied by Moscow, defying warnings from the West.

“This new grant assistance is yet another demonstration of America’s confidence in Ukraine and will support critical government operations and provide relief to the Ukrainian people suffering under Russia’s brutal war,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement. a statement.

“Critically, this funding will also help bolster Ukraine’s courageous resistance to Putin’s illegal war of aggression. We call on other donors not only to speed up their existing disbursements to Ukraine but also to scale up their assistance.”

Government shutdowns threaten the finances of hundreds of thousands of workers who risk being sent home without pay as parks, museums, and other federal property close.

The provisional measure, which keeps federal agencies open until December 16, was approved by the Senate on Thursday by a comfortable 72 votes to 25.

It includes $1 billion in winter fuel allowance for low-income families, $20 million for a clean water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi, and billions in disaster aid for multiple states.

His approval was unusually light on drama this time around, with lawmakers eager to skip town and get back on the campaign trail before midterm election day on Nov. 8.

A proposal attached to the package to speed up the approval process for large energy projects provided the only controversy.

But its author, Joe Manchin, a Democrat with broad interests in the fossil fuel industry, agreed to drop the text after admitting it lacked support and risked sinking the entire package.

Lawmakers rejected a White House request for billions of dollars for the national response to Covid-19 and monkeypox, amid staunch Republican opposition.

Last week, the president declared the pandemic “over,” paving the way for Republicans to reject the request.

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