Skip to content
Edit post

US House passes record defense spending bill already cleared by Senate

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 15, 2023 9:29 AM 2 min read
The U.S. House of Representatives and Capitol Dome on May 28, 2023 in Washington, D.C. (Anna Rose Layden/Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 310-110 on Dec. 14 to approve a defense spending bill with a record total of $886 billion. The bill has already been passed by the Senate, but it still needs to be signed by President Joe Biden, who is expected to support it.

The National Defense Authorization Act is an annual bill that Congress has approved on a bipartisan basis for over 60 years. It contains a full spectrum of defense spending, including $300 million in funds for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.

The initiative is scheduled to last through 2026, and the bill authorizes $300 million for the program through the end of the 2024 fiscal year, and for the year following.

The defense budget that the Senate authorized on Dec. 13 allocates funds for weapons purchases, personnel pay raises, and foreign aid initiatives. It also provides funding to create the Office of the Special Inspector General for Ukraine Assistance to oversee and audit the distribution of U.S. aid.

The bill also contains a provision that requires an act of Congress for the U.S. to withdraw from NATO, which previous President Donald Trump has implied he would consider if reelected in 2024.

The funds earmarked for Ukraine fall far short of the $61 billion in aid that Biden has urged Congress to authorize before the end of the year. The Senate voted down the funding request on Dec. 6, with Republican legislators refusing to support aid to Ukraine unless Democrats agreed to aggressive restrictions on immigrants and asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The vote came on the same day Russian leader Vladimir Putin reaffirmed his commitment to maximalist war goals in Ukraine during an annual press conference.

"Vladimir Putin, in his annual press conference, doubled down on his goal of conquering Ukraine and subjugating its people," said U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby.

"I sure hope that those House Republicans who have, for months, held hostage critical assistance to Ukraine heard Putin’s message loud and clear," he added.

Kirby criticized Congress for trying to go on holiday recess before deciding on funding for Ukraine.

"(Ukraine) needs our help.  And they need it now, not after the eggnog."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on Dec. 14 that the Senate will delay its holiday break, scheduled to start on Dec. 15, to vote on the bill.

Putin flaunts alleged military successes, claims Russia is doing great
Russian President Vladimir Putin took four hours on Dec. 14 to boast about Russia’s alleged economic and military achievements. Among Putin’s key messages was that the war would end when Russia achieved its goals, Western assistance to Ukraine would soon end, and Russia would be doing fine on the b…

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

3:54 AM

McConnell's exit signals shift in Republican support for Ukraine.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's impending departure from his leadership role in November signals a significant shift in Republican support for Ukraine. McConnell has played a pivotal role in securing military assistance and funding for Kyiv, Politico reports.
10:57 PM

Parliament's website reportedly hit by cyberattack.

There are no further details on the reported cyberattack, including Verkhovna Rada’s assumptions about those involved in the hacking. At the time of publication, the link to the parliament's Telegram was already working properly.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
9:22 PM

Kuleba: Albania to open embassy in Kyiv soon.

Albania is planning to open its embassy in Kyiv "soon," Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on social platform X on Feb. 28 after meeting his Albanian counterpart Igli Hasani in Tirana.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.