US House approves $13.6 billion in emergency spending as response to war in Ukraine

10 March 2022, 07:15 PM

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved $13.6 billion in emergency spending for the U.S. response to the war in Ukraine, U.S.-based Bloomberg business news agency reported on March 10.

The aid package, attached to a sweeping $1.5 trillion omnibus bill funding the rest of the government through Sept. 30, had ballooned from an initial estimate of about $6.5 billion a little more than a week ago, to a $10 billion request from the White House, and now to the $13.6 billion approved on Wednesday, March 9.

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The funding would provide $6.5 billion for the Pentagon, including $3 billion to bolster U.S. troops in Europe and $3.5 billion to replace weapons given to Ukraine, Bloomberg reported.

The U.S. State Department would receive $4 billion, including for refugee assistance, economic assistance to the region, and foreign military financing.

The U.S. Agency for International Development would get $2.8 billion mostly for immediate humanitarian disaster assistance. Other funding is provided to enforce sanctions and increase media broadcasts into Ukraine.

The overall spending bill now goes to the Senate, which is expected to pass it as soon as Friday. It then will go to U.S. President Joe Biden for his signature.

Members of both parties agree that the $13.6 billion package will have to be followed later with even more money. How much will depend on how the war evolves, including the possibility of a hefty investment in rebuilding a war-torn Ukraine, lawmakers in both parties said.

“I think this is likely to be a pretty meager down payment in the long term,” Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, a Democratic member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Tuesday, March 8.

March 10 is the 15th day of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The invaders have lost more than 12,000 personnel (killed and wounded) and over 1,000 armored fighting vehicles, according to Ukrainian army estimates.

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