With House shifting, Senate locks in Ukraine funds

Dec 21, 2022, 8:42 PM | Updated: Dec 23, 2022, 8:48 am
Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., applaud as Ukrainian Presid...

Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., applaud as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — On the heels of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s emotional appeal for continued U.S. support, the Senate voted Thursday to ensure the money keeps flowing for years, even after Republicans take control of the House.

Ukraine will receive $44.9 billion in aid as part of the massive $1.7 trillion government spending bill. Passed by the Senate with a vote of 68-29, the bill now goes to the House for a final vote before it can be sent to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.

The bill funds the government through the fiscal year ending in September, but it would give the Pentagon authority to spend the money through 2025 in some circumstances.

That could ease Ukraine’s concerns that funding may be threatened after Republicans take charge of the House next month. Though Ukraine aid has largely had bipartisan support, scattered rumblings have fueled worries that a divided Congress might be less able to agree on continuing support for Ukraine. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has warned that Republicans would not write a “blank check” for Ukraine.

Speaking to Congress on Wednesday evening. Zelenskyy urged both parties to continue funding his country’s fight with Russia, saying it represented far more than just helping Ukraine’s front lines.

“Your money is not charity. It’s an investment in the global security and democracy that we handle in the most responsible way,” Zelenskyy said.

In a nod toward Republican concerns about how Ukraine money is being spent and tracked, the funding includes $6 million for additional inspector general reports, with requirements for the IG to come before Congress within 90 days of the bill’s passage. It also sets two other provisions requiring the Pentagon and State Department to send regular reports to Capitol Hill on all defense items provided, with special emphasis on more sensitive weapon systems.

More than half of the almost $45 billion will pay to keep additional U.S. troops and aircraft in Europe, continue the flow of weapons to Kyiv, and help replenish U.S. stockpiles of weapons that have been sent to Ukraine.

“I think that the intent is to show continued support,” said Stacie Pettyjohn, defense program director at the Center for a New American Security.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the administration appreciates “the flexibility that it will give us to continue to support Ukraine.”

The largest chunk of the defense portion of the Ukraine support bill, almost $21.2 billion, will be used to provide weapons to Ukraine and replenish U.S. stockpiles. The U.S. has already provided more than $19 billion in weapons since Russia invaded in February.

Separately, the White House announced Wednesday it is providing an additional $1.85 billion in military assistance to Ukraine, to include for the first time a Patriot surface-to-air missile battery.

The package includes funding for additional satellite communications terminals and service to augment the Starlink terminals that have kept Ukraine connected since Russia invaded. It also includes, for the first time, Joint Direct Attack Munitions kits, which modify large bombs with tail fins and GPS, so instead of being dropped in a free fall over a target, they can be released and directed to that target.

The larger $45 billion package also looks longer term, including humanitarian aid for Ukraine and the funding to restore U.S. weapons stockpiles

The bill includes $700 million to help U.S. weapons manufacturers replace stockpiles that have been repeatedly tapped in the last year as the U.S. rushed ammunition, anti-tank weapons, anti-aircraft weapons and now sophisticated air defense systems onto the Ukrainian battlefield to repel Russian troops.

That money will pay for U.S. defense firms to buy the land, equipment and machine tools necessary to expand weapons manufacturing plants, “for the purpose of increasing production of critical munitions to replace defense articles provided to the government of Ukraine, or foreign countries that have provided support to Ukraine at the request of the United States,” according to the bill.

The Ukraine funding package includes more than $126 million to help Ukraine address nuclear non-proliferation security concerns following Russian attacks on the Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia nuclear power stations.

It also provides $90 million to cover U.S. personnel costs, including hardship pay for soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Space Force Guardians who have been deployed to Europe to bolster NATO defenses and almost $875 million for those services to use for Ukraine-related expenses.


Associated Press writer Aamer Madhani contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Police: 2 Pakistani Taliban commanders killed in northwest

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani police killed two commanders from a militant group in the country’s northwest, a local officer said Saturday. Pakistan has increased its operations against militants after a surge in violence by the Pakistani Taliban, or TTP, particularly in the northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The TTP ended its cease-fire with the government […]
1 day ago
FILE - John Lydon attends the LA premiere of "Punk" at SIR in Los Angeles, Monday, March 4, 2019. P...
Associated Press

Punk icon Lydon fails in bid to play Eurovision Song Contest

LONDON (AP) — Punk icon John Lydon has failed in his attempt to become Ireland’s entry for the pop music competition the Eurovision Song Contest. The former Sex Pistols frontman entered the song “Hawaii” with his post-punk band Public Image Ltd. in the national runoff for May’s continent-wide contest. Jurors and viewers of a televised […]
1 day ago
A vendor sits at a flea market in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)...
Associated Press

Dozens of soldiers freed in Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Dozens of Russian and Ukrainian prisoners of war have returned home following a prisoner swap, officials on both sides said Saturday. Top Ukrainian presidential aide Andriy Yermak said in a Telegram post that 116 Ukrainians were freed. He said the released POWs include troops who held out in Mariupol during Moscow’s […]
1 day ago
FILE - The British frigate HMS Portland heads through the Suez canal, in Ismailia, Egypt Wednesday,...
Associated Press

Royal Navy sailors hospitalized after drinking water on ship

LONDON (AP) — A Royal Navy warship has returned to port in Britain after several sailors got sick from the vessel’s drinking water, officials said Saturday The navy said frigate HMS Portland had returned to its base at Portsmouth on England’s south coast on Friday “as a precautionary measure, following an issue with one of […]
1 day ago
FILE - An American flag is flown next to the Chinese national emblem during a welcome ceremony at t...
Associated Press

China plays down Blinken’s canceled visit over balloon

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — China played down the cancellation of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken after a large Chinese balloon suspected of conducting surveillance on U.S. military sites roiled diplomatic relations, saying that neither side had formally announced any such plan. “In actuality, the U.S. and China have never announced any […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Ohio train derailment causes causes fire, home evacuations

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (AP) — A train derailment and resulting large fire prompted an evacuation order in an Ohio village near the Pennsylvania state line on Friday night, covering the area in billows of smoke lit orange by the flames below. Officials in East Palestine, Ohio, notified residents that an evacuation order remained in place […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
With House shifting, Senate locks in Ukraine funds