Washington (AP) — Congressional Democrats are preparing plans to boost President Joe Biden’s demand for $ 33 billion Ukraine With a $ 40 billion aid package, the House of Representatives will be able to vote as soon as Tuesday, two people familiar with the legislature’s ideas said.
At the retreat Biden admitted that the package should not contain any of the additional billions he requested to fight COVID-19. Republicans believe that support is essential to promote legislation through an evenly divided Senate and oppose adding that money to Ukraine’s aid.
“We can’t afford to delay this important war effort,” Biden said in writing. “Therefore, I am ready to accept that these two measures work separately so that the Ukrainian aid bill will reach my desk soon.”
“It’s been about 10 days since this important deadline was reached,” Biden said, adding that he “almost exhausted” his authority to continue shipping military aid to Ukraine.
The Democrats have provided the Republicans with the latest proposals.
Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell said, “I’m focused on getting it done without causing extra problems, and I’m focusing on getting it done quickly.” .. .. “
Details of the bill were explained on Monday by people who can only speak on anonymous terms, as they are not allowed to discuss it publicly. The House’s Tuesday schedule referred to Ukrainian law, but it was unclear how robust it was.
Biden’s statement did not provide details on the legislation, stating that “Parliament is likely to pass it in the form I proposed.”
The Democratic Party’s move on the proposal Russia invades Ukraine In its eleventh week, it shows signs of a terrible long-term war. Fierce fighting in the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine has caused widespread damage and serious losses to both sides, but the Russian attack shows little sign of progress.
Still, US officials inside and outside Congress have emphasized the importance of expediting support for Ukraine, which has more troops.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby emphasized the urgency facing U.S. authorities, saying the Pentagon’s ability to send weapon systems and other equipment from Pentagon stockpiles to Ukraine would be lost in about three weeks. Stated. The Pentagon now has about $ 100 million in drawdown authority from the $ 13.6 billion Ukrainian aid measures enacted in March.
“That’s why we encourage Congress to act swiftly,” Kirby told Pentagon reporters.
Democrats say more spending to fight COVID-19 is also important, but plans to vote for packages that omit these funds have urgent support for Ukraine as a top priority. Emphasizes their idea of being. The Democratic Party has stated that the promotion of another pandemic measure will come later.
Officials said Ukraine’s actions by the Democratic Party included $ 3.4 billion more than Biden demanded for defense spending and $ 3.4 billion more than the president sought humanitarian aid.
Biden’s request he sent to Congress on April 28 demanded $ 20 billion for defense spending for Ukraine, the United States and their allies. It also demanded $ 3 billion for humanitarian assistance, including feeding people around the world who depend on war-torn Ukrainian grains and other foods.
With Democratic support, Biden demanded an additional $ 22.5 billion from Congress to buy vaccines, treatments, and tests. This will prepare the country for future COVID-19 mutants and stop the spread of the virus in poor countries abroad. In an agreement with the Republican Party, the Democratic Party last month agreed to split the request into $ 10 billion, but the compromise was hit by other disagreements.
Republican support for additional COVID-19 spending has been flagged by the public’s tiredness of dealing with the pandemic as the elections approach. The Democratic Party wanted to facilitate the approval of the COVID-19 Fund by consolidating pandemic funds into widespread Ukrainian measures.
Biden said in a statement that Congress “should send Ukrainian funds to him within a few days.” And I urge Congress to move forward with the COVID financing bill. “
Republicans do not want to delay the Ukrainian package and want to keep pandemic spending separate and use that measure in the fight for immigrants that could harm the Democrats.
Republicans want to force a vote on a proposal to continue to limit the acceptance of immigrants across the Mexican border, fearing the expansion of the pandemic imposed by then-President Donald Trump.
With more border crossings expected soon, the proposal splits Democrats and many are hesitant to support Biden by ending these restrictions later this month.
AP writer Lolita Baldor contributed to this report.
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Democrats want to raise Biden Ukraine’s aid program to nearly $ 40 billion | Associated Press-News
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