The United States House of Representatives approved early Thursday, with bipartisan support, an aid item for Ukraine endowed with 13.6 billion dollars (12.3 billion euros), within a large spending package worth 1.5 trillion dollars (1.4 euros), which ensures financing from the federal government until September. Republicans and Democrats also voted, with an overwhelming majority, in favor of a bill to veto the importation of oil and gas from Russia, a measure that has already been promoted by the Joe Biden Administration and that makes this legislation a symbol support.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has sparked a rare cohesion between conservatives and progressives on Capitol Hill. Before the White House had decided on the embargo of the Eurasian giant’s hydrocarbons, legislators of both sides had already agreed on a law that would prohibit these imports and that would have put Biden in a complicated situation. That is the one that went forward Wednesday night in the lower house, with 414 votes in favor and 17 against, for subsequent debate in the Senate and final signature of the president.
The support item for Ukraine is of a military and humanitarian nature, with some 6,700 million dollars (just over 6,000 million euros) in funds to respond to the great refugee crisis that has triggered the conflict – there are already 2.2 million of displaced people—, and economic aid to the attacked country, and around 6,500 million (about 5,900 million euros) for military support from the Pentagon.
It is Ukraine’s aid that has helped save the 1.5 trillion (1.4 euro) spending program two days before the federal government’s funding deadline expired, which has prevented a closing of the Federal Administration, that is, the suspension of non-essential activities. The plan includes funds to combat sexist violence, although the Democrats have had to desist from including the aid package for the pandemic, of 15,600 million dollars (14,130 million euros) due to disputes with the Republicans about its cost. The fund, which President Biden had claimed from Congress, should be used to purchase tests, finance therapies and vaccines.
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