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House nears OK of $40B Ukraine aid, beefing up Biden request

House nears OK of $40B Ukraine aid, beefing up Biden request

WASHINGTON (AP) — A fresh $40 billion Ukraine assistance package headed in the direction of House transit Tuesday while lawmakers beefed up President Joe Biden's initial request, signaling a magnified U.S. commitment to thwart Russian President Vladimir Putin's bloody three-month-old invasion.

The measure was expected to come first in wide bipartisan support with every one other accompanied by had $7 billion additional than Biden's scheme from last month, evenly divided in the centre of protection with every one other accompanied by humanitarian programs. The invoice would present with Ukraine military with every one other accompanied by monetary assistance, assist geographical allies, replenish weapons the Pentagon has shipped overseas with every one other accompanied by provide $5 billion to address worldwide food shortages caused by the war's crippling of Ukraine's normally robust manufacture of numerous crops.

The new legislation would convey American support for the attempt to almost $54 billion, on top of the $13.6 billion inside support Congress enacted inside March. That's concerning $6 billion additional than the U.S. spent on all its overseas with every one other accompanied by military assistance inside 2019, according to a January report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, which studies issues for lawmakers. It's too around 1% of the entire confederate budget.

"Time is of the essence, with every one other accompanied by we cannot pay for to wait," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wrote inside a letter to colleagues. She said the measure "sends a resounding message to the world of our unwavering resolution to stand accompanied by the courageous people of Ukraine until victory is won."

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The measure was released while Washington has become increasingly assertive concerning its goals with every one other accompanied by its readiness to assist Ukraine accompanied by additional state-of-the-art weapons. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said not long ago the U.S. wants a "weakened" Russia that can't fast reinstate its ability to assault other countries.

Russian attacks on Ukraine's southern port of Odesa have intensified inside what seems an try to hamper deliveries of Western arms. Those weapons have helped Ukraine clasp its own surprisingly well opposed to its additional lethal foe, nevertheless the grinding war is taking its toll.

Senate approval of Ukrainian assistance seems certain, with every one other accompanied by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., with every one other accompanied by other Republicans have echoed the need for fast action. But it was unclear when that would occur with every one other accompanied by changes inside the measure were possible, accompanied by McConnell insisting that the measure exist narrowly focused on the war.

"I believe we're on a footpath to getting that done," McConnell told reporters Tuesday. "It needs to exist clean of extraneous matters, straight related to helping the Ukrainians come first in the war."

Some Republicans used the election-season debate to charge accompanied by Biden of actuality unclear concerning his goals.

"Honestly, do we not deserve a plan?" said Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas. He said he agrees that Western countries must assist Ukraine stand up to Russia nevertheless added, "Does the management not need to go nearer to us accompanied by where we are going accompanied by this?"

Oksana Markarova, Ukraine's ambassador to the U.S., attended Tuesday's separate Democratic with every one other accompanied by Republican Senate lunches with every one other accompanied by expressed gratitude for the support they've received. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said Markarova told them her country has depleted its stockpiles of Soviet-era weapons with every one other accompanied by said continued NATO support is vital.

Coons said the Ukrainian's message was, "'Thank you, do more. We have a firm fight ahead. With your support, we tin win.'"

The new measure includes $6 billion to upper limb with every one other accompanied by train Ukrainian forces, $8.7 billion to reinstate American stores of weapons shipped to Ukraine with every one other accompanied by $3.9 billion for U.S. forces deployed to the area.

There's too $8.8 billion inside monetary support for Ukraine, $4 billion to assist Ukraine with every one other accompanied by allies monetary affairs arms with every one other accompanied by apparatus purchases with every one other accompanied by $900 million for housing, education with every one other accompanied by other assist for Ukrainian refugees inside the U.S.

To grow the measure's chances inside Congress, the House invoice drops Biden's proposal to ease the pathway to legal permanent residency for qualifying Afghans who fled to the U.S. following last summer's American withdrawal from that country. Some Republicans have expressed concerns concerning the adequacy of safety screenings for applicants.

In their biggest concession, Biden with every one other accompanied by Democrats had deserted plans Monday to include additional billions of dollars to build up U.S. supplies of medicines, vaccines with every one other accompanied by tests for COVID-19. Republican support for additional pandemic spending is waning with every one other accompanied by including that money would have slowed the Ukraine measure inside the 50-50 Senate, where at least 10 GOP votes will exist needed for passage.

Democrats hope to manufacture a separate COVID-19 package soon, though its fate is unclear.

Biden met inside the White House Situation Room Tuesday accompanied by Pelosi with every one other accompanied by sextet other House Democrats who traveled not long ago to Ukraine with every one other accompanied by Poland. Afterward, Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., a subscriber of that delegation with every one other accompanied by former Army Ranger, said the Ukrainians need state-of-the-art drones with every one other accompanied by longer range weapons exist fond of artillery, rockets with every one other accompanied by anti-ship missiles that will assist them push spine the Russians.

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Associated Press author Farnoush Amiri contributed to this report.

House nears OK of $40B Ukraine aid, beefing up Biden request

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