House Approves $40B in Ukraine Aid, Beefing Up Biden Request  

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The House emphatically approved a fresh $40 billion Ukraine aid package Tuesday as lawmakers beefed up President Joe Biden’s initial request, signaling a magnified, bipartisan commitment to thwart Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bloody three-month-old invasion. The measure sailed to passage by a lopsided 368-57 margin, providing $7 billion more than Biden’s request from April and dividing the increase evenly between defense and humanitarian programs. The bill would give Ukraine military and economic assistance, help regional allies, replenish weapons the Pentagon has shipped overseas and provide $5 billion to address global food shortages caused by the war’s crippling of Ukraine’s normally robust production of many crops. The measure was backed by every voting Democrat and by nearly 3 out of 4 Republicans. House debate reflected a perspective, shared broadly by both parties, that the U.S. has even more at stake than standing by Ukraine. “The Ukrainian people, they need us, they are in desperate need of our support,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., chair of the House Appropriations Committee. “Vladimir Putin and his cronies must be held responsible. This bill does that by protecting democracy, limiting Russian aggression and strengthening our own national security.” “As China, Iran and North Korea watch our response, we must show the world that America stands firm with its allies and will do what is necessary to protect our interests abroad,” said Rep. Kay Granger of Texas, top Republican on that committee. The new legislation would bring American support for the effort to nearly $54 billion, including the $13.6 billion in support Congress enacted in March. That’s about $6 billion more than the U.S. spent on all its foreign and military aid in 2019, according to a January report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, which studies issues for lawmakers. It’s also around 1% of the entire federal budget.

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