Image Source: Financial Times
The Senate voted 86-11 on Thursday to approve a $40 billion Ukraine aid plan that would replenish US military stockpiles in Ukraine and send billions of dollars to aid the Ukrainian government’s operations and humanitarian aid.
President Biden is anticipated to sign the package right now because it exceeds his $33 billion request to Congress. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives by a 368-57 majority earlier this month.
Biden praised Congress on Thursday for “sending a clear bipartisan message to the world that the people of the United States stand with the brave people of Ukraine.”
“The resources I asked will enable us to transfer even more weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, replenish our stockpile, and support US soldiers stationed on NATO territory,” he said in a statement.
Biden declared that he would send another security package with artillery, radars, and other equipment right now.
The vote was welcomed by both Democratic and Republican leaders as a critical step in restraining Russian aggression and solidly within US national security interests.
“This is a big package, and it will help the Ukrainian people fulfill their big requirements as they struggle for life.” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) declared on the Senate floor before the vote, “The Ukrainians are caught up in a war for democracy, the exact democracy we cherish itself,” alluding to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“This is a conflict we should not and cannot ignore,” he said.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) praised the vote and chastised fellow Republicans, including former President Trump, who had complained about the bill’s cost.
“The outcome of this war will affect America’s security and vital strategic objectives in the future. “Anyone worried about the expense of backing a Ukrainian victory should consider the much higher cost of backing a Ukrainian defeat,” he stated.
The bill would permit the supply of American arms and equipment to Ukraine, as well as grant $9 billion to rebuild depleted US weapons stocks and $6 billion to Ukraine’s military and national security forces in the form of training, equipment, weapons, and logistics.
It would also provide approximately $8.8 billion for the Ukrainian government’s ongoing operations and counter-human-trafficking efforts, $5 billion for global food aid, $4.35 billion for international disaster relief, and $900 million for refugee support services.
Eleven Republican senators, led by Kentucky’s Rand Paul, voted no on the bill.
Senior legislators on both sides of the aisle said this isn’t the last aid package for Ukraine since they believe the conflict will drag on for months.