Congress seeks to spend $500 million of taxpayers’ money on Ukraine — Analysis

Democrats to fast-track bill giving Kiev more military aid and sanctioning Russia in case of “significant escalation”

The US House of Representatives has rushed to pass a bill which would place sanctions against Russia and provide $500 million of military assistance for Ukraine. The committee markup process is completely skipped, The Intercept reported Tuesday.

Nancy Pelosi, a Democratic Speaker from California, reportedly stated to members during a caucus conference that she wanted the Defending Ukrainian Sovereignty Bill of 2022 put up for a vote on the floor as soon as possible. Gregory Meeks, a New York Democrat and the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee introduced the bill. 13 Democrats co-sponsored it.

Meeks, along with eleven other members of Congress (only three Republicans), is currently on his way to Ukraine. His bill doesn’t have any GOP co-sponsors just yet. The House version was introduced by Bob Menendez, chair of Senate Foreign Relations Committee (D-New Jersey), and was supported by 41 Democratic senators.

US backtracks on talk of Russian invasion

To double military assistance to Kiev from the $248 million received under Foreign Military Financing (FMF), the Meeks bill would send it to 500 million. Only Israel and Egypt currently get more – $3.3 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively.

Under the Democrats’ proposal, if President Joe Biden declares that Russia has engaged in “significant escalation in hostilities”To disrupt Ukrainian sovereignty the White House could issue sanctions against President Vladimir Putin, Russian financial institutions and anyone connected to Nord Stream 2 as well as Americans who want to trade Russian government bonds.

The Menendez bill was used by Senate Democrats to filibuster Ted Cruz’s earlier month sanction proposal. But, Republicans won’t block Menendez-Meeks because their proposal to the House would have Ukraine receive $450 million from FMF. They also want to impose sanctions immediately on Nord Stream 2, without having to wait for Russian action.



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