The US House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a huge spending bill that would send $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine and its European allies, after Democrats were forced to abandon their plan to include new funding to fight COVID-19. 19.
The approval of the aid for Ukraine and the law for 1.5 billion dollars of government financing in which it is included allowed both parties to claim victory for their priorities in an election year.
Democrats won cherished national initiatives, Republicans secured financial boosts on defense, and both backed sending funds to counter Russia’s invasion of their neighbor. The Senate was expected to pass the bill late this week or early next.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, had to give up $15.6 billion to fight the pandemic, a decision she described as “heartbreaking” and sounded like a defeat for a priority of President Joe Biden and leaders. of the match.
The money was intended primarily to bolster US supplies of vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests to combat the disease around the world, but a Democratic revolt over cuts in aid to states that Republicans had called for to cover the costs of the new initiatives forced Pelosi to give up the project.
“We have a war in Ukraine,” Pelosi told reporters to explain the urgency felt by Democrats to make concessions in their negotiations with Republicans. “We have important work that we are doing there.”
The lower house approved the measure in two separate votes. The safety programs received majority support 361-69, with the rest passing by 260 votes to 171, opposed by most Republicans.
The aid to Ukraine included $6.5 billion to pay for troops and weapons to be sent to Eastern Europe and to equip allied forces there, in response to the invasion and threats by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Another $6.8 billion will go to care for refugees and provide aid to allies, with another portion to help federal agencies enforce economic sanctions against Russia and protect against cyber threats in the United States.
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