The House of Representatives voted along party lines on Thursday to pass a package with $40 billion in additional aid to Ukraine
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The House of Representatives passed on Tuesday evening an additional $40 billion aid package for Ukraine as it continues to face an assault from Russia.

Not one Republican or Democrat crossed party lines, resulting in a 217-202 vote with only Democrats passing the massive aid package. Four Democrats and seven Republicans did not cast a vote to adopt the legislation into law.

The money allocated in the package includes $67 million for the Justice Department to sell off the seized yachts taken from Russian oligarchs as well as COVID funds for the war-torn Eastern European country.

Following the passage of the resolution, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took ti the podium to speak – referencing many times her leading a Democratic delegation to Poland and surprise trip to Ukraine.

She said the newly passed legislation ‘will have an immediate and substantial difference to what is happening in Ukraine.’

‘As Putin desperately accelerates his campaign of horror and brutality in Ukraine, time is of the essence. That is why we’re so pleased to hear that we could proceed immediately with this bill to put it on the president’s desk so that the assistance can reach the people of Ukraine,’ Pelosi said after the vote.

‘We cannot afford to wait.’

Republicans, however, are against the package, claiming they don’t want to send billions of U.S. money overseas. 

Pelosi earlier Tuesday: ‘With this aid package, America sends a resounding message to the world of our unwavering determination to stand with the courageous people of Ukraine until victory is won.’

Lawmakers increased President Joe Biden”s original $33 billion request, adding $3.4 billion in military aid and $3.4 billion in humanitarian assistance, for the Ukrainians.

The money includes $67 million for DOJ’s General Administration section to help cover the costs of seizing, retaining, and selling forfeited property – such as the yachts of Russian oligarchs – related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The House of Representatives voted along party lines on Thursday to pass a package with $40 billion in additional aid to Ukraine

The House of Representatives voted along party lines on Thursday to pass a package with $40 billion in additional aid to Ukraine

Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee banged the gavel late Thursday evening to adopt the motion for aid to the war-torn country

Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee banged the gavel late Thursday evening to adopt the motion for aid to the war-torn country

The Biden administration plans to sell off the seized assets of Vladimir Putin’s cronies and give the money to the Ukraine to help them fight off the Russian invasion.

The United States already has seized a $90 million yacht owned by Viktor Vekselberg, called the Tango. And that is just a portion of the $1 billion in yachts, planes and artwork — not to mention hundreds of millions in cash — that the United States has identified as belonging to Putin’s wealthy friends. Americans, working in Fiji, have also seized a $300 million yacht belonging to Suleiman Kerimov, a Russian gold magnate. 

The legislation also includes $8.7 billion to replenish US stocks of equipment sent to Ukraine through drawdown authority.

The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv is getting $300 million for operations, security and relocation. The embassy was closed with Russia’s invasion but administration officials have said they want to reopen it.

There is $900 million for refugees, which will fund housing, English language classes, trauma and support services, community support (including school impact grants), and case management.

The seized yatch 'Tango', which belongs to Renova Group head Viktor Vekselberg, moors in the port of Palma de Mallorca, Spain

The seized yatch ‘Tango’, which belongs to Renova Group head Viktor Vekselberg, moors in the port of Palma de Mallorca, Spain

The $300 Million yacht of Sanctioned Russian Oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, seized in Fiji at the request of the United States

The $300 Million yacht of Sanctioned Russian Oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, seized in Fiji at the request of the United States

The Senate could take up the package next week. 

‘After the House passes the legislation, it is my intention for the Senate to act on it as soon as we can,’ Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday.

But lawmakers split off $10 billion in funding for the covid pandemic in order to rush through money for the war-torn country, which is entering its second month of fighting off Russia’s invasion.

While the Ukraine aid is expected to sail through, there is no clear outlook for the covid funds that Democrats had originally tied to the foreign aid.

Biden signed off on the deal that dropped covid funding. 

‘Previously, I had recommended that Congress take overdue action on much needed funding for COVID treatments, vaccines and tests, as part of the Ukraine Supplemental bill,’ Biden said in a statement on Monday.

‘However, I have been informed by Congressional leaders in both parties that such an addition would slow down action on the urgently needed Ukrainian aid — a view expressed strongly by several Congressional Republicans,’ he noted.

House of Representatives could vote as soon as Tuesday afternoon on an additional $40 billion in aid to the Ukraine - President Joe Biden signed off on separating covid funding from the foreign aid package

House of Representatives could vote as soon as Tuesday afternoon on an additional $40 billion in aid to the Ukraine – President Joe Biden signed off on separating covid funding from the foreign aid package

Senate Republicans wanted to tie to covid funding a vote that would keep Title 42, the public health order being used to turn away migrants at the Southern border, in effect. The CDC announced it will expire on May 23. States are also suing to stop the Trump-era order from being rescinded. 

Some Democrats have expressed concern about rescinding Title 42 without a plan in place to combat the expected surge in migrants. 

Republicans have made it clear they will not vote for covid funding without a Title 42 vote. Democrats need at least 10 Republicans to vote with to advance the legislation. 

Some Senate Democrats said they were disappointed the covid aid would be considered separately.

‘It would have been so much better for us to protect the United States as well as worked to protect Ukraine,’ No. 2 Senate Democrat Dick Durbin told reporters.

Asked if separating Ukraine aid hurts prospects for covid aid, Durbin said, ‘It doesn’t help. Putting those two together would have been a positive.’

In his statement, Biden called on Congress to move quickly approve more covid funding.

‘Without timely COVID funding, more Americans will die needlessly,’ he said.

‘We will lose our place in line for America to order new COVID treatments and vaccines for the fall, including next-generation vaccines under development, and be unable to maintain our supply of COVID tests.’

The money would be used for booster shots, theraputics and testing.  

A shopping mall is destroyed as a result of rocket strikes launched by Russian troops in Odesa in Southern Ukraine

A shopping mall is destroyed as a result of rocket strikes launched by Russian troops in Odesa in Southern Ukraine

A car destroyed by Russian attacks is seen in the middle of a road in the northern region of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine

A car destroyed by Russian attacks is seen in the middle of a road in the northern region of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine

The administration has warned the US could potentially see 100 million Covid-19 infections this fall and winter.

Officials told CNN this estimate is based on an underlying assumption of no additional resources or extra mitigation measures being taken, including new Covid-19 funding from Congress, or dramatic new variants. 

Separately, Biden on Monday signed legislation that revives the ‘Lend-Lease Act,’ a World War Two-era program that helped defeat Hitler’s Germany by allowing Washington to lend or lease military equipment to U.S. allies more quickly.

In this case, it will help those affected by Russia’s invasion, such as Poland and other eastern European countries as well as Ukraine.

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