US House of Representatives votes on $40 billion aid package for Ukraine on Tuesday

United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during the unveiling of a photo exhibit on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, at the Capitol in Washington, United States, on April 28, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

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WASHINGTON, May 10 (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on an aid package worth more than $40 billion for Ukraine on Tuesday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as Congress races to avoid a defense aid cut and strengthen the government. in Kyiv.

The legislation is expected to pass the House and head to the Senate in the coming days, as Washington steps up its support for Ukraine without sending troops to help repel Russian troops who invaded on February 24.

Biden asked Congress to approve an additional $33 billion in aid for Ukraine late last month, but lawmakers moved to add more military and humanitarian aid.

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“Time is running out – and we cannot afford to wait,” Pelosi said in a letter to House members. “This package, which builds on the strong support already secured by Congress, will be essential in helping Ukraine defend not just its nation, but democracy for the world.”

After sending the letter, Pelosi met with President Joe Biden at the White House to discuss his recent visit to Ukraine. The president had demanded that Congress quickly pass the bill to him.

Many lawmakers — Biden’s fellow Democrats as well as opposition Republicans — have said they support aid to Ukraine. Democrats have tight control of Congress, but the bill will need Republican votes to pass the Senate.

Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, met with Democratic and Republican senators on Tuesday at their weekly lunches.

“It was a very sincere and easy to understand message: their people are dying, they are running out of supplies and ammunition. They need our help quickly. Thank you for all our help. Please. Speed ​​up “, said Democratic Senator Dick. Durbin said.

BILLIONS OF WEAPONS

The package includes $6 billion for security assistance, including training, equipment, weapons and support; $8.7 billion to replenish stocks of US equipment sent to Ukraine and $3.9 billion for European Command operations.

In addition to these expenditures, the legislation authorizes an additional $11 billion in presidential drawdown authority, in which the president can authorize the transfer of items and services from U.S. stocks without congressional approval in response to a emergency. Biden had asked for $5 billion.

And it authorizes $4 billion in foreign military funding to support Ukraine and other crisis-hit countries.

The United States has already funneled billions of dollars worth of weaponry to Ukraine since the invasion of Russia, including howitzers, Stinger anti-aircraft systems, Javelin anti-tank missiles, ammunition and recently disclosed ‘Ghost’ drones . Read more

The new aid package also includes humanitarian assistance – $5 billion to address global food insecurity due to the Ukraine crisis and nearly $9 billion for an economic support fund to provide support budget to Ukraine.

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Reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Richard Pullin

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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