Washington (The Times Groupe)- The US House of Representatives approved over $40 billion in new funding for Ukraine in a bid to further aid the country during its war against Russia.
A 368-57 vote sends the sweeping package to the Senate, which is expected to vote on and pass it as soon as this week. Republican opposition was the only opposition in the House.
As US President Joe Biden continues to warn that existing funds and authorities for transferring arms from existing US stockpiles have run out, this package is significantly over the $33 billion requested by him in April.
The bill would provide Kyiv with billions of dollars in new military and economic assistance, as well as approximately $5 billion to assist the global response to a growing food insecurity crisis. The war in Ukraine has devastated the global agricultural market because Ukraine is normally a major food exporter.
There are plans to fund the arming, training, and supplying of the Ukrainian military with about $8.7 billion for replenishing US weapons stocks used to arm Kyiv.
A new $3.9 billion is allocated for the US’s European Command, and the bill would increase the congressional cap on funding for friendly nations from $450 million to $950 million.
The massive spending package comes on top of the $13.6 billion Congress allocated in March.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, speaking on the House floor ahead of the vote, called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “coward” who ordered his forces to commit war crimes in Ukraine. She called it an “act of mercy” to help alleviate the suffering.
“Democracy must prevail over dictatorship,” she said. “We must help them win so that we can provide bread for the world and feed the hungry,” she said.
“It builds upon the strong support already delivered by the United States due to its bipartisan and bicameral unity in Congress and with the administration.”
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, at least 3,459 civilians have died and 3,713 have been injured, according to UN estimates. However, the true toll is likely to be much higher.
Over 5.91 million people have fled to other countries, with 7.7 million internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency.