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House passes funding bill to provide aid to Ukraine, avert government shutdown

WASHINGTON — The House handed a large spending invoice Wednesday evening to fund the federal authorities by means of September and supply practically $14 billion in support for Ukraine.

The $1.5 trillion bipartisan invoice, which now heads to the Senate, is the fruits of months of negotiations on Capitol Hill that included a protracted stalemate between Democrats and Republicans.

The practically $13.6 billion dedicated to Ukraine consists of $6.5 billion for the Defense Department, with $3.5 billion to replenish tools despatched to Ukraine and $3 billion for U.S. troops who’re serving to to defend NATO in Europe. The invoice would additionally present cash for humanitarian support, to assist Ukraine’s power grid and to fight disinformation.

The spending invoice initially was slated to allocate $15.6 billion for the Covid pandemic response domestically and overseas. But that funding was lower after the invoice bumped into bother.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., mentioned in a letter Wednesday that Covid funding can be eliminated, blaming Republicans for depriving Americans of “urgently needed” COVID help.

“It is heartbreaking to remove the Covid funding, and we must continue to fight for urgently needed Covid assistance, but unfortunately that will not be included in this bill,” she mentioned.

The general spending measure, which funds the federal government by means of Sept. 30, would supply will increase to each protection and non-defense packages over 2021 ranges.

Democrats have been unable to repeal the Hyde Amendment, a decades-old coverage that prohibits federal packages like Medicaid from paying for abortions.

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., mentioned in an announcement early Wednesday that the measure would decrease the price of residing for households and create American jobs.

“During this time of great uncertainty and change, we are tackling some of our nation’s biggest challenges, including making health care more affordable, confronting the climate crisis, and protecting our national security,” she mentioned.

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., rating member on the Senate Appropriations Committee, mentioned in an announcement that the invoice excludes “partisan poison pills” and highlighted the increase to protection spending. “It also provides critically needed emergency assistance for our allies that are resisting Russian aggression in Ukraine without decreasing base defense funding by a single dollar,” he mentioned.

Democratic and Republican lawmakers have been wanting to ship billions of {dollars} in navy and humanitarian support to Ukraine as Washington and the European Union proceed to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin and his allies with crippling sanctions.

The Biden administration initially requested for $6.4 billion in emergency funding for Ukraine, which Russia invaded on Feb. 24. Last week, the White House requested a $10 billion package deal that would pay for humanitarian, safety and financial help for Ukraine and central European allies “due to Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked invasion,” Shalanda Young, the appearing White House finances director, wrote in a letter to congressional leaders.

Congress faces a Friday evening deadline, when authorities funding is ready to run out, to go the more-than 2,700-page spending invoice and stop a shutdown. The House additionally handed a short-term funding extension by means of Tuesday to make sure the Senate has sufficient time to go the bigger invoice.

“This bill, the spending bill, comes at a consequential moment,” mentioned Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday. “War in Europe has focused the energies of Congress into getting something done and getting it done fast, quickly.”

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Zoë Richards contributed.

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