House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Wednesday the House might vote next week on giving Ukraine another $33 billion to help fight the invading Russian forces.
“We’re writing the bill now, and hopefully we will be able to vote on it next week,” The Hill reported Pelosi said during a press briefing in Washington state, where she’s campaigning with several Democratic lawmakers. “Legislation takes a little time.”
President Joe Biden, who has already given Ukraine $13 billion to support its war effort, asked Congress for the additional money late last month, according to The Hill.
During a stop at a Lockheed Martin factory in Troy, Alabama, on Tuesday, Biden said he asked Congress for more money to send weapons to Ukraine to keep the Russian troops at bay.
“Since Russia invaded Ukraine just over two months ago, we have sent more than $3 billion in security assistance to Ukraine — alone, us — not counting our allies. And that money is a direct investment in defending freedom and democracy itself,” Biden said during the visit. “Because if you don’t stand up to dictators, history has shown us they keep coming. They keep coming. Their appetite for power continues to grow.”
He said Congress should act promptly on his request to allow the Ukrainian forces to repel the attack to their country.
“I urge the Congress to pass this funding quickly to help Ukraine continue to succeed against Russian aggression, just as they did when they won the Battle of Kyiv, and to make sure the United States and our allies can replenish our own stocks of weapons to replace what we’ve sent to Ukraine,” he said. “As I said from the beginning, this fight is not going to be cheap, but caving to aggression would even be more costly.”
According to The Hill, Pelosi supports attaching the funding to another COVID-19 relief bill that Biden, and Senate Democrats would like to see, but Republican opposition to such a tactic could force her caucus to abandon the larger bill.
While most of the $33 billion would be used to give the Ukrainian fighters weapons and ammunition, $8.5 billion and $3 billion would respectively go to direct economic assistance and humanitarian aid of food and supplies to the people of the war-torn nation.
“The fact is democracy is at stake,” Pelosi said. “Our national security is affected by this. And the leadership role that we play in the world is one that is essential to the essence of who we are.
“Can we afford it? We can’t afford not to do it.”
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