US House sends bill to avoid gov't shutdown, support Ukraine
The House passes a bill to fund the government and avoid a partial shutdown, sending it to US President Biden to sign hours before a midnight deadline.
The US House of Representatives passed legislation on Friday to fund the federal government and send an amount of nearly $12.4 billion to Ukraine, sending the bill to US President Joe Biden’s desk to sign it before midnight, which marks the shutdown deadline.
House lawmakers passed a last-minute temporary funding bill to continue the fiscal year 2022 funding levels through December 16 in a vote of 230-201, in order to prevent an imminent government shutdown. In the coming months, Congress plans to pass a full-year spending bill, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
The legislation also gives approximately $12.4 billion in fresh assistance to Kiev, including $4.5 billion in economic assistance, $3 billion in security aid, $2.8 billion for US European Command, and $1.5 billion to refill US arms stocks.
The bill approves $3.7 billion in US military equipment to Kiev, including from stocks replenished by the legislation, using Presidential Drawdown Authority.
In addition, the bill allocates $540 million to boost the production of critical munitions, $35 million to get ready for a nuclear incident in Kiev, and $2 million for an Inspector General on Ukraine's assistance monitoring.
On Thursday, the State Department’s Office of Inspector General declared the launch of a project to specifically audit the humanitarian assistance that Ukraine received to ensure that taxpayer funds reach their intended objectives.
Domestic initiatives such as low-income heating assistance, disaster relief, and investigative activities linked to Afghan resettlement operations are also funded by the legislation.
The bill will now go to the White House, which has backed the legislation, to be signed into law by the US president. The administration also looks ahead to working with Congress to pass soon a full-year appropriations bill, the White House said.