Ukraine aid growing as lawmakers shape big budget bill

Mar 7, 2022, 5:13 PM | Updated: 5:46 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Proposed U.S. aid for Ukraine and its European allies has grown beyond $12 billion, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday, as congressional bargainers worked toward a bipartisan government-wide spending deal that would also contain fresh sums for battling COVID-19.

The remarks by Schumer, D-N.Y., underscored the momentum in Congress for helping outgunned Ukraine fend off Russian invaders and assisting that country and others cope with refugees and other economic and humanitarian problems caused by the brutal attack.

“The clearest signal Congress can send to Vladimir Putin this week is passing a bipartisan aid package,” said Schumer, referring to the Russian president, “leaving no doubt that the democratic nations of the world stand with Ukraine and against Putin’s deeply immoral and bloody war.”

Schumer said the assistance would pay for refugees, medical and food supplies, weapons transfers to Ukraine and aid for nearby NATO allies.

The apparent growth of the Ukraine aid also illustrated eleventh-hour negotiations underway among lawmakers as they try completing the long overdue $1.5 trillion government spending measure by Friday. The legislation would increase spending for defense and domestic programs, though lawmakers haven’t said yet by how much.

Agencies have run on temporary authority since Oct. 1, when the government’s fiscal year began. That lapses this weekend, and an election-year federal shutdown would occur without more money.

Asked about the new $12 billion figure for Ukraine, No. 2 Senate Republican leader Sen. John Thune said he was aware of numbers “in that range.” Aides from both parties said the assistance was growing. Support for Ukraine has deep bipartisan support in Congress, and only last week President Joe Biden asked lawmakers for $10 billion to help the beleaguered country.

“There’s a real sense of urgency” about the Ukraine aid, Thune, R-S.D., told reporters. He said the strong backing for that assistance would benefit the overall $1.5 trillion legislation because it would “help keep this thing moving.”

Biden also proposed another $22.5 billion to continue bolstering government efforts against the pandemic. Republicans have objected that such additional spending should come from unspent funds from previous COVID-19 relief bills Congress has enacted, which totaled over $5 trillion.

Thune said negotiators seemed ready to pay for pandemic expenditures with unspent COVID-19 money, and aides said talks were moving that way. They also said the $22.5 billion figure could fall, though that remained unclear.

If that happens, “in the end there ought to be a pretty big vote” for the overall bill, Thune said. “But we’ll see.”

Leaders want the House to vote on the legislation by Wednesday, when House Democrats plan to leave town for the rest of the week for a political retreat. That would give the Senate a couple of days to complete the measure before confronting a federal shutdown, which experience has shown angers voters and which both parties hope to avoid.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

President Joe Biden speaks before signing into law S. 2938, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act gu...
Associated Press

Biden signs landmark gun measure, says ‘lives will be saved’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Saturday signed the most sweeping gun violence bill in decades, a bipartisan compromise that seemed unimaginable until a recent series of mass shootings, including the massacre of 19 students and two teachers at a Texas elementary school. “Lives will be saved,” he said at the White House. Citing […]
7 hours ago
FILE - This Sept. 20, 2017, file photo shows a sign at the Disney store on the Champs Elysees Avenu...
Associated Press

Abortion ruling thrusts companies into divisive arena

The Supreme Court’s decision to end the nation’s constitutional protections for abortion has catapulted businesses of all types into the most divisive corner of politics. Some companies that stayed silent last month — when a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito was leaked to Politico — spoke up for the first time Friday, including The […]
7 hours ago
Associated Press

A roof over their head: Churches use tiny homes for homeless

Churches across the U.S. are tackling the big question of how to address homelessness in their communities with a small solution: tiny homes. On vacant plots near their parking lots and steepled sanctuaries, congregations are building everything from fixed and fully contained micro homes to petite, moveable cabins, and several other styles of small-footprint dwellings […]
7 hours ago
Flowers are left at the scene of a shooting in central Oslo, Saturday, June 25, 2022. Norwegian pol...
Associated Press

Gunman kills 2 during Oslo Pride festival; terror suspected

OSLO, Norway (AP) — A gunman opened fire in Oslo’s night-life district early Saturday, killing two people and leaving more than 20 wounded in what Norwegian security service called an “Islamist terror act” during the capital’s annual Pride festival. Investigators said the suspect, identified as a 42-year-old Norwegian citizen originally from Iran, was arrested after […]
7 hours ago
In this combo photo, protesters gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, June 24, 20...
Associated Press

Two months of waiting, and finally a Supreme Court ruling

Follow the links in this story to recent AP coverage about abortion over the last three months. ___ And so the interminable wait after the leak of the decision overturning Roe v. Wade has come to an end — nearly two months in which abortion and all of its complexities have been have been hashed […]
7 hours ago
With tear gas in the air, a large number of police surround the Arizona Capitol after protesters re...
Associated Press

Police at Arizona Capitol fire tear gas, disperse protesters

PHOENIX (AP) — Police fired tear gas to disperse anti-abortion demonstrators from outside the Arizona Capitol Friday night, forcing lawmakers to huddle briefly in a basement inside the building as they rushed to complete their 2022 session. Thousands of protesters had gathered earlier on the Capitol grounds in Phoenix, divided into groups both supporting and […]
7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Ukraine aid growing as lawmakers shape big budget bill