The United States Senate approved a short-term funding bill providing $12.3 billion in aid to Ukraine as the Biden administration promised to continue financial support for Kyiv in the face of Russian aggression. A 72-25 vote in the Senate passed the legislation on Thursday, and it is expected that the House of Representatives will approve it before it reaches the desk of President Biden. With the passage of this bill, the U.S. government will be funded through the end of the fiscal year, preventing a looming shutdown.
The US Senate approved $12b in additional economic and military assistance for Ukraine Wednesday as part of a stopgap extension of the federal budget. Senators from both parties agreed to spend $3 billion on arms, supplies, and salaries for Ukraine’s military.#UkraineInvasion pic.twitter.com/MI5F6XczEK
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) September 30, 2022
As part of the package, $3.7 billion in U.S. weapons will be transferred to Ukraine – the latest in a series of significant legislative initiatives designed to strengthen Ukraine’s defenses against Russia. The U.S. Congress approved $40 billion in assistance for Ukraine, followed by an allocation of $13.6 billion earlier this year for Kyiv’s response to the invasion. In addition, humanitarian and military aid packages have been disbursed periodically by the Biden administration.
In February, the Russian military invaded its neighbor following a months-long deadlock in which Putin demanded that NATO’s expansion into former Soviet republics be halted. But Moscow has encountered several setbacks in its military campaign. Ukraine has recently retaken large swaths of territory in the east of the country with the assistance of U.S. weaponry.
The United States Denounced Russian Annexation
Following the widely condemned vote to join Russia, Moscow-installed officials in the four occupied regions are preparing to annex the territories. Despite these so-called referendums, the United States and its allies have denounced Russian annexation plans as violations of the United Nations Charter. During Thursday’s remarks, Biden said the United States would never recognize Russia’s claim to sovereign territory in Ukraine.
It has also been promised that new sanctions will be imposed on Russia if the annexation is carried out. However, in a Wednesday statement, the White House stated that the annexation push does not carry any legal significance. Furthermore, Washington committed to imposing additional economic costs on Russia and individuals and entities within and outside the country supporting the action.
Prior to the November midterm elections, a vocal contingent of right-wing legislators questioned the aid for Ukraine. Although assistance for Ukraine has historically enjoyed widespread bipartisan endorsement in Congress, a vocal delegation of right-wing legislators has asked. Republican Congressman Andy Biggs wrote on Twitter earlier this week that Ukraine aid was becoming a monthly subscription cost for the United States. The expenditure of American taxpayer funds must be limited and subject to oversight.