At War: US Passes Additional $40 Billion in Ukraine Aid

Military aid, delivered as part of the United States' security assistance to Ukraine, is unloaded from a plane at the Boryspil International Airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine February 13, 2022. REUTERS/Serhiy Takhmazov

For a perspective, the entire Russian military budget for 2022 is thought to be $65.9USD

Photo: Military aid, delivered as part of the United States’ security assistance to Ukraine, is unloaded from a plane at the Boryspil International Airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine February 13, 2022. REUTERS/Serhiy Takhmazov

U.S. House passes $40 bln bill to bolster Ukraine against Russian invasion

11 May 2022 |  Patricia Zengerle | Reuters

WASHINGTON, May 10 (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives approved more than $40 billion more aid for Ukraine on Tuesday, as Congress races to keep military aid flowing and boost the government in Kyiv as it grapples with the Russian invasion.

The House passed the Ukraine spending bill by 368 to 57, with every ‘no’ vote coming from Republicans. The measure now heads to the Senate, which is expected to act quickly.

President Joe Biden had asked Congress to approve an additional $33 billion in aid for Ukraine two weeks ago, but lawmakers decided to increase the military and humanitarian funding.

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“This bill will protect democracy, limit Russian aggression, and strengthen our own national security, while, most importantly, supporting Ukraine,” Democratic Representative Rosa DeLauro, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, said as she urged support for the spending package.

Biden had called on Congress to move quickly so he could sign the bill into law before existing defense aid for Ukraine runs out later in May.

Some Republicans opposed the bill, criticizing Democrats for moving too quickly to send too many U.S. taxpayer dollars abroad. Biden’s fellow Democrats narrowly control Congress, but the bill will need Republican votes to get through the Senate.

Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, appealed for assistance to both Democratic and Republican senators at their weekly party lunches on Tuesday.

“It was a very heartfelt and easy to understand message: Their people are dying, they’re running out of supplies and ammunition. They need our help quickly. Thank you for all our help. Please. Speed it up,” Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said after Markarova spoke.

Republican Senator Rob Portman, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and leader of the Senate Ukraine caucus, said he expected enough Republican backing for the bill to get it through the Senate.

“I think it will pass. There will be significant Republican support,” he said.

BILLIONS FOR WEAPONS

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

In addition, the legislation authorizes a further $11 billion in Presidential Drawdown Authority, which allows the president to authorize the transfer of articles and services from U.S. stocks without congressional approval in response to an emergency. Biden had asked for $5 billion.

It also authorizes $4 billion in Foreign Military Financing to provide support for Ukraine and other countries affected by the crisis.

The United States has rushed more than $3.5 billion worth of armaments to Ukraine since Russia invaded, including howitzers, anti-aircraft Stinger systems, anti-tank Javelin missiles, ammunition and recently-disclosed “Ghost” drones. read more

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

It provides hundreds of millions of dollars to help refugees and fund efforts to seize the assets of oligarchs linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose government has called the invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation.”

The war has killed thousands of civilians, forced millions of Ukrainians from their homes and reduced cities to rubble. Moscow has little to show for it beyond a strip of territory in the south and marginal gains in the east.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Richard Pullin and Rosalba O’Brien

In major escalation of the NATO proxy war against Russia, US rams through a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine

11 May 2022 | Clara Weiss | WSWS

On Tuesday night, the US House of Representatives voted by 357 to 48 to approve a record $39.8 billion in military aid to Ukraine, just hours after the text of the bill was made known. It is widely expected that the Senate will also approve the bill and that it will be presented to President Joe Biden for ratification later this week.

The bill marks an extraordinary escalation of the NATO proxy war in Ukraine against Russia.

It goes even beyond the $33 billion that had been requested by the Biden administration and amounts to 5 percent of the total US national security budget of $782 billion.

The almost $40 billion comes on top of $13.67 billion approved by Congress at the beginning of the war, bringing the total aid to Ukraine to over $53 billion in only two months. This is more aid than any country has received from the US in at least two decades.

Almost all of this money is going directly to fund the war against Russia. According to the magazine Politico, out of the $39.8 billion, $11 billion would go to transfers of weapons and equipment from the US military stockpiles directly to Ukraine; $8.7 billion would be used to replenish weapon inventories sent to the frontlines (up from $3.3 billion that the White House had requested); $6 billion would go to the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative which allows the Biden administration to buy weapons from contractors and then send them directly to the Ukrainian army; and $3.9 billion would be used to fund increased troop deployments and other military NATO operations in Europe. Only $900 million are provided for the 5.9 million refugees of the conflict. 

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James Porteous

James Porteous is an author, photographer and researcher. Clipper Media News is a daily publicatioin featuring news and views you can use.

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