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Ukraine conflict: US Congress backs more Ukraine aid

The US Capitol building in Washington, DC. (Janes/Marc Selinger)

The US Congress has passed a bill that will provide more than USD12.3 billion in additional Ukraine-related military and economic assistance to continue countering Russia's more-than-seven-month-old invasion.

The package, which President Joe Biden signed into law on 30 September following congressional approval, includes USD3 billion for weapons, training, and other support for Ukrainian forces; USD1.5 billion to replenish Pentagon stocks of equipment sent to Ukraine; USD540 million to increase production of munitions shipped to Ukraine or countries helping Ukraine; USD2.8 billion for US military operations in the region; and USD4.5 billion to help Ukraine's government continue operating. It also contains USD2 million for the US Department of Defense (DoD) inspector general to monitor Ukraine funding to ensure it is spent as intended.

The House of Representatives passed the bill on 30 September, a day after the Senate took the same step. The Biden administration requested the aid in early September, saying the USD40 billion package that Congress approved for Ukraine in May was running out.

The new aid legislation is attached to a continuing resolution (CR) that will keep the US federal government funded through mid-December. The CR is needed because Congress has not completed its full-year appropriations bills for fiscal year (FY) 2023, which began on 1 October.

The US Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) urged Biden to sign the CR to avoid a government shutdown, but it warned that the short-term measure could harm the US defence industry because it temporarily freezes government funding at FY 2022 levels.

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