House Passes Ukraine Relief Bill with 368 Affirmative Bipartisan Votes

The Ukraine relief bill passed, despite some GOP opposition. In a sign that there is growing frustration with President Joe Biden's policy towards the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, 57 House Republicans voted late on Tuesday against HR 7691, known as the Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022. The legislation was passed 368-57. The bill will provide an additional $40 billion in Ukrainian aid, which is $7 billion more than what the Biden Administration had requested. 

The legislation will increase American backing for this campaign to close to $54 billion, which includes the $13.6 billion of aid Congress passed in March. It's roughly 6 billion more than the U.S. spent on all its military and foreign aid in the year 2019, according to a January report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, which examines the issues facing legislators. It's also about 1 percent of the total budget of the federal government.

Even with 57 votes against the bill, the overall Republican attitude toward the bill was expressed in the views of Rep. Kay Granger (TX-R), who said that she was in support of the measure: “Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 7691, a bill that would provide additional assistance to Ukraine and other partners in the region. Ten weeks ago, we witnessed Russia begin its attack on the sovereign nation of Ukraine. To support Ukraine and our allies during this unprovoked, illegal, and appalling attack, Congress provided nearly 14 billion dollars in emergency funding through the fiscal year 2022 appropriations bills. That funding has been crucial in Ukraine’s efforts to fight back against Putin’s evil invasion. The bill before us today would provide roughly $40 billion in assistance to address the ongoing conflict. With Russia continuing to take control of the country, more resources are needed to: Provide military assistance to Ukrainian forces; address the humanitarian crisis created by this conflict; and support our allies in the region. A large portion of the bill will also go to backfill DOD’s weapons and equipment. The United States has the best weapons in the world, and it is critical that we not only supply those to our allies in their time of need–as we have done to Ukraine–but that we ensure our own troops continue to have what they need. As China, Iran, and North Korea watch our response, we must show the world that America stands firm with its allies and will do what is necessary to protect our interests abroad. For these reasons, I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.”

In a tweet that outlined her disapproval of the bill, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) addressed a variety of unsatisfactory points. “In the America LAST $40 BILLION Ukraine FIRST bill that we are voting on tonight, there is authorization for funds to be given to the CIA for who knows what and who knows how much? But NO BABY FORMULA for American mothers! $54 million for #Covid4Ever. Why not just keep Title 42 in place? And $900 million to be given to ‘qualified’ organizations and non-profits, aka friends and family of politicians ‘businesses,’ to provide wrap-around services (look that one up), housing, medical, and just free everything. But NO BABY FORMULA for American mothers. Anyone that just walked through Ukraine qualifies for resettlement! But NO BABY FORMULA for American mothers! And entitlement programs. All of the entitlement programs? BUT NO BABY FORMULA for American mothers! Slush fun (sic) for the State Department for Ukraine AND other countries. And a brand new embassy in Ukraine, presumably. BUT NO BABY FORMULA for American mothers!” Greene was also a vocal voice in the House against the bill.

The bill is now going to the Senate, and its fate is uncertain.

However, it was not clear what time the Senate would take action and what changes could be possible, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) insisting that the bill be specific to the conflict. “I think we're on a path to getting that done,” McConnell said to reporters. “It needs to be clean of extraneous matters, directly related to helping the Ukrainians win the war.”

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