The United States Senate on Thursday approved nearly $40 billion in additional aid for Ukraine, sending the bill to the White House for President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to sign it into law. It is by far the largest U.S. aid package for Ukraine to date.
The Senate voted 86-11 in favor of the package, which will give Ukraine military, economic and humanitarian assistance. All Democrats voted for the bill that was opposed by 11 Republican Senators.
The United States House of representatives passed the spending bill on May 10 but it stalled in the Senate after Republican Senator rand Paul refused to allow a quick vote.
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had urged lawmakers to pass the bill, telling Congressional leaders in a letter that the military had enough funds to send weapons to Ukraine until Thursday, May 19.
Democratic Senate majority Leader Chuck Schumer described the package as large, adding that “it will meet the large needs of the Ukrainian people as they fight for their survival.”
“By passing this emergency aid. the Senate can now say to the Ukrainian people: help is on the way. Real help. Significant help. Help that could make sure that the Ukrainians are victorious,” Schumer said.
President Biden applauded the passage of the bill in a statement on Thursday, describing it as a “clear bipartisan message to the world that the people of the United States stand together with the people of Ukraine.”
He wrote, “I applaud the Congress for sending a clear bipartisan message to the world that the people of the United States stand together with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their democracy and freedom. The resources that I requested will allow us to send even more weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, replenish our own stockpile, and support U.S. troops stationed on NATO territory. And, I want to thank Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, and Leader McCarthy for moving this bill quickly to ensure there is no lapse in funding for these important needs. Together with the contributions of our Allies and partners, we will keep security, economic, food, and humanitarian assistance flowing to Ukraine, across the region, and around the world, and further strengthen Ukraine — both on the battlefield and at the negotiating table
“We have provided a historic amount of security assistance to Ukraine to date, and my Administration will continue to expedite the delivery of additional weapons and equipment for which Congress has provided authority. And today, I am announcing another package of security assistance that will provide additional artillery, radars, and other equipment to Ukraine, which they are already using so effectively on the battlefield. These weapons and equipment will go directly to the front lines of freedom in Ukraine, and reiterate our strong support for the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their country against Russia’s ongoing aggression.”