House passes $40 billion Ukraine aid bill

The measure will then need to pass the Senate before it can be sent to President Joe Biden for signing into law.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said earlier Tuesday that after the House approves the package, the Senate will “move quickly” to pass the measure and send it to the office of Biden.

Aid to Ukraine has been a rare bright spot of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill, with Democrats and Republicans largely rallying around a call to help the nation in the face of the Russian onslaught.

Lawmakers unveiled the text of the bill earlier in the day ahead of the House vote. The House-approved bill provides funding for a long list of priorities, including military and humanitarian aid.

The bill includes an increase in funding for the presidential levy authority from the $5 billion originally requested by the Biden administration to $11 billion. Funding from the Presidential Withdrawal Authority allows the administration to send military equipment and weapons from U.S. stockpiles. This was one of the main ways the administration quickly supplied military equipment to Ukrainians during the last 75 days of the conflict in Ukraine.

In the additional aid to Ukraine that was signed into law in mid-March, $3 billion of this type of funding was included. The Biden administration has used this funding to provide military assistance to Ukraine under a series of presidential withdrawal authorization programs. The last $150 million package was authorized on May 6.

The bill also provides $6 billion in funding for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, another way the Biden administration has provided military assistance to Ukraine. USAI funding allows the administration to purchase weapons from contractors and then supply those weapons to Ukraine, so this method does not draw directly from U.S. stockpiles.

According to a House Democrats fact sheet, the funding will be used to help Ukraine’s military and national security forces and will go toward weapons, equipment, training, logistics and intelligence support. as well as other needs.

There will also be about $9 billion to help restock US equipment that has been sent to Ukraine. It comes as many lawmakers have raised concerns about replacing US stockpiles of weapons the United States is giving Ukraine, particularly stingers and javelin missiles.

To address humanitarian needs, the bill will include $900 million to boost refugee assistance, including housing, trauma support and English education for Ukrainians fleeing the country.

The measure provides an additional $54 million to be used for public health and medical support for Ukrainian refugees.

“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,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter on Tuesday. to House Democrats after the bill was drafted. published.

The House vote comes after Biden called on Congress to “immediately” pass a new Ukrainian aid bill, warning that existing aid would soon run out.

“Bring it to my office in the next few days,” Biden said in a statement Monday.

Biden previously urged Congress to pass additional funding for pandemic relief and new Ukraine aid in the same bill.

But he said on Monday that congressional leaders had told him to decouple the effort in order to get aid to Ukraine faster. Congressional Republicans had insisted that the two issues proceed on separate legislative tracks.

Biden initially asked for $33 billion to help Ukraine in its fight against Russia, but Congress has offered billions more for food aid and military equipment.

“We cannot afford to delay this vital war effort,” Biden said in the statement. “Therefore, I am ready to accept that these two measures evolve separately, so that the draft law on Ukrainian aid can arrive on my desk immediately.”

This story was updated with additional developments on Tuesday.

CNN’s Kristin Wilson, Donald Judd and Ali Zaslav contributed to this report.


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