The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the $1.7 trillion 2023 omnibus federal spending bill, which includes $45 billion in security assistance to Ukraine and NATO allies, AP reported on Dec. 23.
Key takeaways from Biden-Zelenskyy meeting
The bill was supported by 225 legislators, while 201 voted against. The day before, the bill won the approval of the U.S. Senate, and now heads to the White House to be signed into law by U.S. President Joe Biden.
The draft budget includes $772.5 billion in civilian federal spending and $858 billion for defense funding. It includes $45 billion in military, economic, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and NATO allies (up from $38 billion the Biden administration asked for), as well as about $40 billion in disaster relief.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has criticized the bill and previously argued that in the next Congress, the Republicans wouldn’t give Ukraine “a blank check.” He is expected to replace House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the Republican party has won control of the House in the next Congress which sits from early January 2023.
On Dec. 21, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy traveled to Washington in his first trip abroad since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Zelenskyy met with U.S. President Joe Biden and delivered a speech to a joint U.S. Congress session, while the White House announced a $1.85 billion security assistance package for Ukraine – including a Patriot air defense battery.
On Dec. 22, the U.S. Senate supported the use of the seized Russian assets to help sustain Ukraine.