The US House of Representatives approved $40 billion in additional military and humanitarian aid to help Ukraine's defense against the ongoing Russian invasion, vastly surpassing President Biden's initial request of $33 billion.
In a 368-57 vote, Congress passed the proposal Tuesday night.
219 Democrats voted to pass the proposal along with 149 Republicans that voted for the additional funding. Only 57 Republicans voted against the $40 billion proposal. Two Democrats and three Republicans did not vote.
In a press release from the White House last month, the Biden administration issued a call to Congress to approve additional funding to "provide additional resources to help ensure Ukraine's democracy prevails over Putin's aggression."
They noted that "Almost all of the $3.5 billion in drawdown authority Congress provided in March has been exhausted," saying the US has supplied weapons, ammunition, helicopters, anti-tank and anti-aircraft systems, drones, and grenade launchers to the country.
"Continued bipartisan support in Congress is vital to ensuring that the Ukrainian people have the resources they need to win this war, and this Administration is committed to working with lawmakers and our global allies and partners to keep aid flowing to Ukraine uninterrupted and to support those devastated by the food crisis that Putin's war has exacerbated," the White House said.
If passed in the Senate, the United States will be sending Ukraine nearly $15 billion towards military equipment, training, intelligence support and Ukrainian defense force salaries. An additional $14 billion would be allocated for nonmilitary support, including humanitarian aid, and another $5 billion would address global food security issues, according to Washington Post.
On the floor, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) repeatedly called Russian President Vladimir Putin a "coward" and stressed the importance of helping Ukraine fight for their sovereignty.
"We should all be very proud that we had the opportunity when Putin decided — whatever it is he decided — to be brutal and cruel and a coward, that we were there to help," Pelosi said.
"It's about democracy versus a dictatorship. Democracy must prevail. The Ukrainian people are fighting the fight for their democracy and, in doing so, for ours as well," Pelosi said.
Critics of the Bill lambasted the outlandish spending and believe that the additional funding should go towards the nation's own defense, like finishing the wall along the US Southern border.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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