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Senate fully approves huge $1.5 trillion spending bill that includes Ukraine aid

Stavros Lambrinidis, Dick Durbin, Jeanne Shaheen, Emily Haber, Audra Plepyte
Posted at 8:41 PM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 22:41:45-05

The Senate has given final congressional approval to a $13.6 billion emergency package of military and humanitarian aid for besieged Ukraine and its European allies.

The money went along with a $1.5 trillion, government-wide spending bill that's five months late but loaded with political prizes for both parties. The Senate passage on Thursday night was by a 68-31 bipartisan margin. Democrats and Republicans have battled this election year over rising inflation, energy policy, and lingering pandemic restrictions. But they've rallied behind sending aid to Ukraine, whose stubborn resilience against Russia has been inspirational for many voters.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “We promised the Ukrainian people they would not go at it alone in their fight against Putin.”

Around half of a $13.6 billion measure was aimed at arming and equipping Ukraine and paying for the Pentagon's costs for sending U.S. troops to Eastern European nations who worried about the nearby warfare.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “This administration’s first instinct is to flinch, wait for international and public pressure to overwhelm them, and then take action only after the most opportune moment has passed us by.”