US approves further $40b in Ukraine aid

Source: Associated Press

The US House of Congress approved a $40 billion (all amounts in USD) Ukraine aid package on Wednesday, $7 billion more than Biden's request in April, signalling a magnified, bipartisan commitment to thwart Putin's bloody three-month-old invasion.

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.

“The Ukrainian people, they need us, they are in desperate need of our support," said chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro.

"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.”

The new legislation would bring American support for the effort to nearly $54 billion. That's about $6 billion more than the US spent on all its foreign and military aid in 2019, according the US Congressional Research Service.

It's also around 1% of the US federal budget.

Oksana Markarova, Ukraine's ambassador to the US, expressed gratitude for the support.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

US Senator Chris Coons said Markarova told them her country has depleted its stockpiles of Soviet-era weapons, and continued NATO support is vital.

The new measure includes $6 billion to arm and train Ukrainian forces, $8.7 billion to restore American stores of weapons shipped to Ukraine, and $3.9 billion for US forces deployed to the area.

There's also $8.8 billion in economic support for Ukraine, $4 billion to help Ukraine and allies finance arms and equipment purchases and $900 million for housing, education and other help for Ukrainian refugees in the US.