Home » The US House of Representatives voted for billions in aid for Ukraine

The US House of Representatives voted for billions in aid for Ukraine

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The US House of Representatives voted for billions in aid for Ukraine

The Chamber of Parliament passed a corresponding bill on Saturday afternoon (local time), which contains around 61 billion US dollars (57 billion euros) for Kiev. US President Joe Biden welcomed the vote and called on the Senate to quickly approve it.

The smaller chamber of parliament is expected to approve the law next week. President Biden promised on Saturday that he would sign the bill immediately afterward. He appreciated the vote on Saturday. “At this critical turning point, they came together to answer the call of history,” said the President.

311 votes to 112

The bill was approved in the chamber with a bipartisan majority of 311 votes to 112. There was applause in the plenary session after the vote. A number of MPs waved Ukrainian flags and shouted “Ukraine, Ukraine”. They were called to order. Numerous Republicans voted against the aid, but were unable to prevent its adoption with the help of US President Joe Biden’s Democrats. The Republicans have a razor-thin majority in the chamber. The vote could cost the Republican leader of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, his job. Several radical MPs loyal to former President Donald Trump opposed aid to Ukraine.

“Thank you, USA”

“I know there are critics of the bills. I understand that this is not perfect legislation,” Johnson said after the vote. A number of people gathered outside the congress, some dressed in yellow and blue, the colors of the Ukrainian flag. They shouted “Thank you, USA!”. Demonstrator Catherine Pedersen said of the vote: “We stand up now against Russia, China and North Korea and prevent them from plunging the world into further chaos.” The people of Ukraine also fought for the USA, she said.

Russia shed crocodile tears

Aggressor Russia shed crocodile tears after the vote. The billions in aid would “further ruin” Ukraine and lead to more deaths in the conflict, Kremlin spokesman complained Dmitri Peskov. A clause in the law that allowed the US government to use confiscated Russian assets to rebuild Ukraine would also damage the US image, Peskov told the TASS news agency. Russia will respond with measures in its own interest. A Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said the billions in funding for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan will “deepen the crisis around the world.” With regard to aid to Ukraine, she spoke of “direct support for terrorist activities.” “For Taiwan, it is interference in China’s internal affairs. For Israel, it is a direct path to escalation and an unprecedented rise in tensions in the region,” the spokeswoman said.

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On the other hand, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenbergthat US aid to Ukraine makes “us all safer.” “Ukraine is using weapons provided by NATO allies to destroy Russian combat capabilities,” he said Saturday evening.

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The foreign ministers of Great Britain, David Cameron, and Germany, Annalena Baerbock, were also pleased. The vote shows Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin that “our common will is unbroken,” said Cameron. “With support, Ukraine can and will win.” The vote was also commented on enthusiastically in the Baltic states. Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics spoke of a “great day for the free world“, while his Lithuanian counterpart Gitanas Nauseda spoke of a “big step towards victory”.

“Vital help”

Approval of the “vital aid” will prevent the war from “expanding,” wrote Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj in the online service X. The new aid would “save thousands and thousands of lives and help our two nations become stronger.” Zelensky expressed his thanks to the representatives in Washington.

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$23 billion for military inventory

The package provides about $23 billion for expanding the U.S. military inventory. The money therefore goes indirectly to Ukraine, as the USA usually supplies the country attacked by Russia with equipment from its stocks. The remainder is earmarked for further military support and financial assistance. The latter is designed as a loan. The text also states that US President Biden should provide Ukraine with long-range ATACMS missile systems “as soon as practicable”. Kiev has long hoped for the weapon system, whose missiles are fired from the ground at targets on the ground.

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Support for Israel

The House of Representatives voted on Saturday not only to support Kiev, but also to support Israel with $26 billion in aid. On the one hand, it is intended, for example, to finance Israel’s missile defense and the US’s ongoing military operations in the region. On the other hand, around nine billion US dollars are intended for humanitarian support, including for the people in the Gaza Strip. Around eight billion US dollars in support for Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region and a text that envisages a sale of the Chinese short video app Tiktok as well as sanctions against Iran and the confiscation of Russian assets were also accepted.

Internal party power struggle in the chamber

The Senate had actually already voted in February for a billion-dollar aid package requested by Biden. This also provided for billions in aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. However, there was never a vote in the House of Representatives because an internal party power struggle was raging in the Republican-dominated chamber. Chairman Johnson is under a lot of pressure, especially from the right-wing fringe of his party.

The hard-right Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene submitted a first request for his deselection at the end of March, and two other members of the party later joined the party. For them, the vote on Ukraine aid is a red line. It remains to be seen whether Greene will actually push for a vote on Johnson’s removal. If she were to do so, Johnson would probably also have to rely on the support of the Democrats here because of the slim majority in the chamber. He could probably count on them, since they have been pushing for aid to Ukraine for months.

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$44 billion since the start of the war

The USA is considered Ukraine’s most important ally in the fight against the Russian invasion. Since the war began in February 2022, President Biden’s administration has provided more than $44 billion in military assistance to Kyiv. There are also billions more in non-military financial aid. According to the US government, the funds approved by Congress have been used up – which is why the vote on new aid is of great importance.

The package now has to be passed by the US Senate, which cannot happen until Tuesday at the earliest. US President Joe Biden’s Democrats have a slim majority there. Biden has already announced that he will immediately sign off on aid to Ukraine following a corresponding congressional resolution.

This article was updated at 9:50 p.m.

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