Ukraine Aid Package Clears House Hurdle; Prime Minister Hopes To See Weapons Soon

The $60.8 billion package to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia’s invasion survived a key procedural vote in the House Friday, teeing it up for final passage in the next few days.

The vote to allow the bill to the floor, over the strenuous objections of hard-line conservative House Republicans, was 316 to 94, with Democrats providing the majority of the support.

Under a deal struck between House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Democratic leaders, Democrats are providing needed votes to move the package forward, which may put Johnson’s job in jeopardy. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has threatened to call for a vote to oust Johnson as speaker and the discord caused by Johnson’s acceptance of Democratic help could give it momentum.

But working with Democrats was the only way to break the logjam over Ukraine aid, which the White House has been demanding for months, as well as two other aid packages, $26.4 billion for Israel and $8.1 billion for Taiwan and other Asian allies. Another bill would force the divestiture of TikTok’s U.S. operations to an American.

The bills will be voted on separately Saturday in the House and then bundled together into one bill for an up-or-down vote in the Senate. The Senate is expected to clear it easily for President Joe Biden to sign it into law.

For Ukrainian leaders, the package is essential if the country is to continue the bloody fight with Russia that began in early 2022.

In February, the long-held eastern outpost of Avdiivka fell to Russia, which White House officials blamed on a shortage of frontline artillery. On April 11, a major power plant providing electricity for the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv was destroyed. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said defenders knocked down seven Russian missiles aimed at the plant but did not have enough air defense missiles to prevent another four Russian bombs from hitting it.

Denys Shmyhal, Ukraine’s prime minister, told reporters Thursday the White House had said more weapons could reach the country within weeks once the bill is approved.

“They promised us that support will be supplied to Ukraine immediately. So it will be weeks, not months, before it will take place. We hope it will take days, but not more than weeks,” he said.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top