US House approves Ukraine aid, Russia’s oil embargo, US government’s anti-strike fund

The US Capitol building was filmed on January 26, 2022 in Washington, DC. REUTERS / Joshua Roberts / File Photo

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WASHINGTON, March 9 (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to provide $ 13.6 billion in funding to fight Russian forces invading Ukraine. Also, avoid implementing U.S. government programs until September 30 and avoid agency strikes. Weekend.

The House approved a broader allocation of bipartisan votes, sending legislation to the Senate aimed at making the current U.S. government funds expire by midnight Friday.

Assistance to Ukraine will help strengthen its military and provide humanitarian assistance to civilians during the war with Russian forces, including 1.5 million refugees already seeking protection abroad.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pointed out that $ 13.6 billion is only the tip of the iceberg.

“We all need to do more to help Ukraine in the coming weeks or months and help rebuild it in the long run,” Pelosi told reporters at his weekly news conference.

He mainly refers to the United States and its NATO allies.

In response to the attack on Ukraine, the House passed a resolution banning US imports of Russian oil and other energy by a vote of 414-17. Fifteen Republicans and two Democrats opposed the move.

The bill was passed a day after President Joe Biden used his executive powers to impose such a ban. The House of Commons noted that lawmakers strongly support the US embargo. It also called for a review of Russia’s role in some international trade plans, such as the World Trade Organization.

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Lawmakers have abandoned their attempt to incorporate language that would undermine Russia’s permanent trade relationship status, which would have allowed the United States to raise taxes on Russian imports beyond the amount given to all WTO members. read more

The US government finance bill was passed following an uprising by Pelosi’s own Democrats against the $ 15.6 billion Govt-19 aid effort because it would have parceled money to individual states. The money was used to research and store vaccines for the potential for future COVID-19 infections.

Following a delay of several hours, Pelosi cleared the way for the immediate remittance of Ukrainian money and “Omnibus” $ 1.5 trillion in federal funds.

Democrats hope to reconsider COVID assistance in a separate law next week.

‘Desperate Hour’

Four years after the Trump administration, the largest government spending bill under President Joe Biden reflects the spending priorities of Democrats.

Rosa Delaro, chair of the House Appraisals Committee, said non-defense domestic spending was up 6.7% from a year earlier, the biggest increase in four years.

“The Ukrainian aid package will help the Ukrainian people in their most hopeless times,” Delo said.

Republicans also hailed the move – a rare sight for both parties in deeply divided Congress.

“This bill should be brought to the president’s desk as soon as possible in response to these aggressive actions,” said Ken Calvert, a top Republican from the Security Subcommittee on the Appropriations Committee.

He was referring to Russia’s occupation of Ukraine and especially the bombing of a hospital on Wednesday. Failure to do so would “undoubtedly reveal a global weakness,” he added.

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As the money for the federal government runs out at midnight on Friday, those in control of the Democratic Party also unanimously approved a separate measure to finance the government until Tuesday.

This was seen primarily as a housekeeping measure, thus giving congressional clerks ample time to implement the broader omnipotence bill following the House and Senate passage. That clerical assignment may be extended beyond the midnight Friday deadline.

Shalanda Young, the White House budget director who worked with Congress, urged the government to immediately approve Ukraine’s aid and government funding and send it to Biden to sign the law.

“The bipartisan finance bill is a testament to the fact that both parties can work together to advance important national priorities for the American people,” Young said in a statement.

The Omnibus Expenditure Plan will increase funding for domestic priorities, including funding for infrastructure passed under an earlier bilateral measure to rehabilitate U.S. roads, bridges and broadband Internet.

The plan includes $ 730 billion in non-defense funding and $ 782 billion in the U.S. military.

Amid fears that Russia and other “bad actors” could launch cyber-attacks against US infrastructure, the government’s finance bill increased the Cyber ​​Security and Infrastructure Security Agency’s budget by $ 568.7 million to $ 2.6 billion this fiscal year.

In its continued attempt to unravel the Trump administration’s “stay in Mexico” immigration policy, the bill did not provide additional funding for the immigration investigation facilities that support the plan, which has forced tens of thousands of immigrants to wait in Mexico for their U.S. asylum cases to be resolved. .

Report by David Morgan, Magini Price, Richard Cowan and Susan Heavy, Additional Report by Shubham Galia in Bangalore; Editing by Scott Malone, Toina Siaku, Jonathan Odyssey and Bernard

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