WASHINGTON, D.C. – After months of negotiations, Congress cleared a $1.5 trillion spending bill to keep the government funded through September which would fund the government for six more months and avert a government shutdown. The bill also includes aid for Ukraine.
“It’s a very good night for this country. Good bipartisan night,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D- NY).
Within this massive bill includes $13.6-billion set aside for Ukraine, almost double the amount the White House initially asked for. So here’s how that money will help Ukraine: About half of that will go towards covering the cost of sending us troops to the eastern European region and intelligence support. The other half will go towards humanitarian and economic support, providing money for refugees fleeing Ukraine, food assistance, health care and supporting operations that have had to move from Ukraine. The bill also includes millions to help deter Russian cyber-attacks.
“Well it’s substantial and when you consider that we’ve already provided just on the military systems over a billion dollars to add at least several billion just on that priority alone, tells you the scale,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D- PA).
We spoke with Sen. Casey before the Senate voted on this bill. He said although this is a massive investment, the U.S. can do more to help those seeking refuge.
“When we’re at our best as a nation, we’re a nation that welcomes immigrants and refugees,” said Sen. Casey. “If we don’t do that, then we’re not the nation we claim to be.”
Welcoming Ukrainian refugees is also supported by Representative Tom Reed (R- NY).
“I fully embrace the Ukrainian people that want to come and fleet, this devastating terror that is over there in Ukraine,” said Rep. Reed. “When it comes to humanitarian aid, we should have all available resources here in America open to those individuals. Also, we need to partner with our European allies on the front line, because they’re going to receive the initial flux of the people coming in.”