The U.S. House approved a 1.5 trillion dollars spending bill to keep the government’s doors open for the next six months and send 13.6 billion dollars in humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine.
The bill included more than 4 billion dollars to assist Ukraine and others in Eastern Europe grappling with the millions of refugees fleeing the former Soviet republic after Russia invaded two weeks ago.
Nearly 7 billion dollars would backfill the transfer of U.S. military equipment to Ukraine and its allies, as well as cover the current and future deployment of American troops and equipment to defend NATO in the region.
U.S. President Joe Biden said he would not send troops to Ukraine.
“We are becoming a witness to one of the worst humanitarian crises we have seen in generations, which is why this bill provides 13.6 billion dollars in humanitarian assistance.
“The defence support and economic aid to help the Ukrainian people in their most desperate hour of need,’’ said House Appropriations Chairperson Rosa DeLauro, D-Connecticut.
The bill was divided into two parts. The defence portion was approved overwhelmingly by members of both parties, 361 to369.
The remaining pieces had less support from Republicans but were approved 260 to 171, with one present vote.
The 2,741-page government spending bill attempts to avert a shutdown as soon as Friday evening.
The bill now moves to the Senate, where leaders hope to approve it quickly, but they have a brief, stopgap spending bill on deck if needed to avert a shutdown.