US NEWS: US Congress plans to raise $ 40 billion over Ukraine, COVID assistance awaits

WASHINGTON, May 9 – The United States Democrats have agreed to rush $ 39.8 billion for additional aid to Ukraine, two sources familiar with the proposal said Monday, dispelling fears that delayed voting could disrupt the flow of U.S. weapons to the Kyiv government.

The House of Representatives could approve the plan, which exceeded President Joe Biden’s request for $ 33 billion last month, as soon as Tuesday, and Senate leaders said they too were willing to leave immediately.

The proposal for additional funding related to COVID-19, which some Democrats wanted to integrate with Ukraine’s emergency funding, will now be considered separately.

Biden on April 28 called on Congress to provide $ 33 billion to support Ukraine, which includes more than $ 20 billion in military aid. That proposal was a dramatic increase in U.S. funding. war with Russia.

The new proposal includes an additional $ 3.4 billion in military aid and $ 3.4 billion in humanitarian aid, sources said.

Biden’s Democrat and Republican counterparts both said they supported Ukraine’s extra assistance and would accept emergency funding immediately, but were delayed due to disputes between the parties over whether additional funding should be invested in COVID-19 or tight immigration control.

Delays have caused concern throughout the capital.

Biden issued a statement asking lawmakers to pass the funding and bring it to his table for him to sign into law in the next few days. “We will not allow the delivery of our aid to stop while we wait for the next steps of the conference,” he said.

In letters to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy of the Republican House and key seats in the House and Senate, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the military had enough money to send weapons to Kyiv in the future. two weeks.

“We need your help,” Blinken and Austin wrote in letters reviewed. They said only $ 100 million was left to be spent under the mandate of the president to authorize the disarmament without the consent of the conference in the event of an emergency.

“We expect to exercise that authority before May 19, 2022,” they wrote.

Senate leader Mitch McConnell told reporters he was pleased that Ukraine’s aid had been cut off from COVID-19. He had repeatedly referred to Ukraine’s “clean” bill repeatedly in Senate speeches.

Some Democrats say they are disappointed that the benefits of COVID-19 will be considered separately.

“It would have been better for us to defend the United States and work for the defense of Ukraine,” said Democrat No. 2nd Senate Dick Durbin told the media.

Asked if separating Ukraine’s aid was detrimental to the chances of COVID-19 aid, Durbin said, “It doesn’t help. Putting the two together would be great.”

In a statement, Biden called on Congress to expedite funding for COVID-19. “Without timely COVID funding, many Americans will die unnecessarily,” he said.

“We will lose our place in the line that the United States will order new COVID drugs and vaccines in the fall, including next-generation vaccines under development, and we may be able to keep our supply of COVID trials.”

Separately, Biden on Monday signed a law reviving the “Lend-Lease Act,” a plan for the Second World War that helped defeat Hitler’s Germany by allowing Washington to borrow or lease military equipment to American allies as soon as possible.

In this regard, it will help those affected by the Russian invasion, such as Poland and other eastern European countries and Ukraine.

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