House Passes $40B Aid Bill for Ukraine
WASHINGTON — The House voted 368-57 on Tuesday night to send an additional $40 billion in military, economic and humanitarian aid to Ukraine to support its fight to turn back Russia’s unprovoked invasion.
The measure now goes to the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has said a vote will be held “swiftly” to get the measure to President Joe Biden for his signature.
In a letter to her House Democrats before the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said “Time is of the essence — and we cannot afford to wait. With this aid package, America sends a resounding message to the world of our unwavering determination to stand with the courageous people of Ukraine until victory is won.”
Later, on the House floor, Pelosi repeated her “time is of the essence” message, describing Russian President Vladimir Putin as “desperate” to “accelerate his campaign of horror and brutality.”
“That’s why we are pleased to hear that we could proceed immediately with this bill today, so that it goes through the Senate and to the president’s desk, so that the assistance can reach the people of Ukraine and Eastern Europe. We cannot afford to wait.
“The aid package we’ll pass today will be pivotal – and others have addressed what is in there in terms of weaponry and security issues, in terms of government and their economy, in terms of humanitarian assistance,” she added.
On Monday, Biden dropped his request to combine the Ukraine money with a separate request for additional COVID-19 response funds, in an effort to speed passage of the bill.
“This aid has been critical to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield. We cannot allow our shipments of assistance to stop while we await further congressional action,” Biden said. “We are approximately 10 days from hitting this critical deadline.”
After the vote, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., a member of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a written statement that “Ukraine is not giving up the fight to preserve its sovereignty, and that means the United States must not yield in our support.
“In the last few days, we have seen another barrage of Vladimir Putin’s lies accompanied by yet another series of attacks perpetrated against Ukrainian civilians,” she continued.
“Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is a threat to the stability of Europe and the future of democracies around the world,” said Spanberger. “We must stand with the Ukrainian people and make sure they have the equipment they need to win the war.”
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, also released a statement after the House vote, in which he hailed Ukraine’s resistance to the Russian onslaught.
“The Ukrainian people are facing horrific violence inflicted by Russia. In the face of significant tragedy and loss of life, so many are fighting to repel Putin’s authoritarian campaign and preserve the freedoms that we sometimes take for granted,” Warner said. “I’m glad that the House voted to advance this critical legislation, which will provide Ukraine with critically needed humanitarian and military assistance. I’m proud to have successfully pushed for $5 billion in food aid to help support the remarkable work of non-governmental organizations that are responding to this crisis on the ground by providing hot meals, food supplies, and other desperately-needed aid.”