U.S. House Passes $1.5 Trillion Spending Plan With $13.6 Billion in Ukraine Aid

The United States House of Representatives on March 9 approved a $1.5 omnibus spending bill that includes $13.6 billion in aid for Ukraine.

The House passed the 2,700-page bill to keep the federal government open and avoid a shutdown through September while also providing billions in humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion.

The funds for Ukraine is more than the $10 billion that the White House requested from Congress last week.

The House Appropriations Committee released the details of the package early on March 9, ahead of the March 11 deadline.

However, House Democrats were forced to drop the $15 billion in COVID-19 funding for therapeutics and research after an internal dispute  over how to pay for the related provisions.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the removal of the COVID-19 funds as “heartbreaking.”

“Because of Republican insistence — and the resistance by a number of our Members to making those offsets — we will go back to the Rules Committee to remove COVID funding and accommodate the revised bill. We must proceed with the omnibus today, which includes emergency funding for Ukraine and urgent funding to meet the needs of America’s families,” Pelosi said in a statement.

The bill also provides $730 billion in nondefense spending, a 6.7% increase over fiscal year 2021.

According to Democratic Senate Appropriations Committee Head Patrick Leahy, the increase was the largest in four years.

The bill also includes $782 billion in defense spending, a 5.6% increase over last year.

The bill now heads to the Senate before going to President Joe Biden for his signature.

White House Acting Budget Director Shalanda Young urged Congress to send the “critical” legislation to Biden “without delay.”

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