US avoids shutting down ‘critical’ aid flow to Ukraine


Bill to keep US government functioning includes $12.3 billion in aid to Ukraine

US President Joe Biden has signed a temporary spending bill, avoiding a federal government shutdown until mid-December. The interim funding bill, however, is largely focused on keeping the flow of military and other aid to Kyiv uninterrupted.

The House passed Bill 230-201 on Friday in a largely partisan vote, excluding 10 Republicans who joined Democrats in supporting the legislation. Biden signed the bill before the midnight deadline, barely avoiding a shutdown due to a lack of funding. While the temporary spending program will provide funding through Dec. 16, the House and Senate will be forced to introduce a new bill to cover next year’s costs after they return from a mid-election break. mandate in November.

The bill not only prevents a shutdown, but allows another gigantic injection of cash into the Ukrainian military and economy. It would set aside $4.5 billion for the Ukrainian government, $3 billion for weapons and military equipment, and additional funding to replenish US weapons already sent to Ukraine, among other things. Earlier this week, the White House had approved nearly $17 billion in direct arms shipments to kyiv since January.

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Ukraine’s provisions also contain language regarding “potential nuclear and radiological incidents” in the country, authorizing $35 million for so-called “nuclear non-proliferation” efforts aimed at securing and preventing the “illegal contraband” nuclear and radiological materials.

“This new financial assistance is a further demonstration of U.S. confidence in Ukraine and will support critical government operations and bring relief to the Ukrainian people suffering from Russia’s brutal war,” he added. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement, calling on others “other donors not only to accelerate their existing disbursements to Ukraine, but also to increase the scale of their aid.”

The new legislation also earmarks money for Afghan refugees settled in the United States, as well as enhanced security measures for American courtrooms.

When they return from recess in November, lawmakers are expected to negotiate a slew of new laws, including another full-year spending bill, a set of defense authorizations and changes to election laws meant to prevent another incident like the riot at the US Capitol in January. 6, 2021.


RT

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