President Joe Biden applauded Congress for passing a $40 billion spending passage to aid Ukraine in its defense from Russian invaders, promising his administration would continue delivering support for the embattled nation.
The Senate on Thursday passed legislation aimed at providing $39.8 billion in additional military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, just ahead of the deadline in which the Pentagon was slated to exhaust its previously appropriated funds to assist the country in its fight against Russia’s unprovoked attacks. Biden is set to sign the measure quickly.
SENATE CLEARS $40 BILLION UKRAINE AID BILL FOR BIDEN'S SIGNATURE
"I applaud the Congress for sending a clear bipartisan message to the world that the people of the United States stand together with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their democracy and freedom," Biden said in a statement. "The resources that I requested will allow us to send even more weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, replenish our own stockpile, and support U.S. troops stationed on NATO territory."
The president thanked congressional leadership from both parties and said the bill's quick passage would ensure there is no lapse in funding.
"Together with the contributions of our allies and partners, we will keep security, economic, food, and humanitarian assistance flowing to Ukraine, across the region, and around the world, and further strengthen Ukraine — both on the battlefield and at the negotiating table," the president said.
The House passed the measure in a 368-57 vote earlier this month. The Senate on Thursday cleared the measure 86-11. The bill was delayed somewhat by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who pushed for an amendment to create a special inspector general to oversee the spending. The amendment was not brought to the floor.
The bill would provide Ukraine with significantly more resources than Biden’s initial request of $33 billion. The legislation was also uncoupled from supplemental pandemic funding in an effort to ease its passage in both chambers.
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Biden's statement also mentioned another package of security assistance providing additional artillery, radars, and other equipment to Ukraine, promising they would be sent directly to the front lines of battle.
"We have provided a historic amount of security assistance to Ukraine to date, and my administration will continue to expedite the delivery of additional weapons and equipment for which Congress has provided authority," he said.