Senate Passes Bill To Avoid Government Shutdown, Send Billions More In Aid To Ukraine

Senate Passes Bill To Avoid Government Shutdown, Send Billions More In Aid To Ukraine

The U.S. Senate passed a stopgap bill Thursday, seeking to avoid a partial government shutdown while also sending billions of dollars more to Ukraine.

The legislation passed 72-25 and would keep the government funded through the middle of December. Along with creating a path for the federal government to avoid a shutdown, the Senate also approved more than $12 billion in additional aid for Ukraine, The Wall Street Journal reported. The House will have until Friday night, when the current fiscal year ends, to send the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk.

“This legislation avoids a very bad thing—shutting down the government—and does a lot of good things: money for the people of Ukraine, funding for communities reeling from natural disasters, aid to families with their heating bills, just to name a few,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on the floor of the Senate.

If the bill passes the House and gets Biden’s signature, Ukraine will receive $3 billion for training and equipment and for salaries and stipends for its soldiers. Another $4.5 billion will go to support the Ukrainian government’s budget. The U.S. has already committed upwards of $40 billion to Ukraine since the end of January, more than every country in the world combined, according to figures from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

“Assisting Ukraine is not some feel-good, symbolic gesture,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said. “It’s literally an investment in our own national security and that of our allies.”

Notably missing from the Senate’s legislation was Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) energy project deal. Manchin reportedly struck the deal with Democratic leadership to include an overhaul of the U.S. energy permitting system in a continuing budget resolution — to avoid a looming government shutdown — in exchange for his vote on the “Inflation Reduction Act,” the Democrats’ $740 billion tax and spending plan. But Manchin’s deal was on thin ice from the start due to bipartisan opposition.

“It is unfortunate that members of the United States Senate are allowing politics to put the energy security of our nation at risk,” Manchin said in a statement on Twitter Tuesday. “The last several months, we have seen firsthand the destruction that is possible as Vladimir Putin continues to weaponize energy. A failed vote on something as critical as comprehensive permitting reform only serves to embolden leaders like Putin who wish to see America fail.”

John Rigolizzo contributed to this report.

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[By: Zach Jewell

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