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After delay, U.S. Senate edges toward passing $40 billion Ukraine war aid -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Military aid delivered by the United States as part of their security assistance to Ukraine is being unloaded from an aircraft at Boryspil International airport outside Kyiv (Ukraine), February 13, 2022. REUTERS/Serhiy Takhmazov/File Photograph

By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate voted Monday to approve $40 billion of additional aid to Ukraine for its war against Russia. This will allow for a vote later in the week on the bill.

The final Senate vote to approve the funding was passed by the Senate by 81 votes to 11. This is the third of three potential procedural votes that could be cast to allow for the Senate to pass the funding. President Joe Biden requested the Senate to continue aid flows and to boost Kyiv’s government almost three months after the Russian invasion.

Republicans received all eleven “no” votes.

On May 10, the House of Representatives approved aid. The Senate blocked the aid from moving forward after Rand Paul, a Republican senator, refused to permit a fast vote. Biden’s Senate and House colleagues are in narrow control, however Senate rules require unanimous consent for any legislation to be moved quickly.

Paul stated that he would like an inspector general appointed to supervise the funds. However, a proposal from Senate leaders for an amendment vote to his proposal was turned down by Paul. Further delay could be caused by the House having to vote again on the bill if it is changed.

The support for Ukraine is strong from both sides. The House approved the measure 368 to 56, with significant Republican support, even though all 57 “no” votes came from Republicans.

This weekend, Mitch McConnell (the top Republican in U.S. Senate) led a small delegation of Americans to Ukraine. On Sunday, he said that the Senate might approve the assistance on Wednesday.

To avoid any lapses in U.S. aid, the Biden administration stated that additional funds for Ukraine had to be approved before Thursday.