Congressional members worry Ukraine relief legislation will include additional COVID relief funds
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. could send a lot more money to help Ukraine, that is, around 33-billion dollars more. Some worry that congressional members will try to tie in additional COVID relief funding to this multi-billion dollar request.
Congressional lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed interest in sending more help to Ukraine.
“If there is another request for Ukraine, there’s an overwhelming likelihood it will be approved,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R- KY).
And it looks like that could happen. Last week, President Biden formally made that request. He asked congress for 33-billion dollars for military, economic and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine.
Pennsylvania democratic Senator Bob Casey released this statement:
“President Biden’s $33 billion aid request meets the moment: it would provide direct support for security, military and humanitarian assistance so that the Ukrainian people can keep defending their country and their democratic values. The President continues to make good on his commitment to lead the global effort to support Ukrainians as they fight Putin’s senseless war. We should pass this aid request into law as quickly as possible.”
“It should be a standalone bill and have the proper oversight of congress being that the American people will be paying for it,” said Rep. Fred Keller (R- PA).
But now this request might hit a road bump. Some worry the White House and some members might try to tie in billions of COVID relief for Americans in this legislation, something the White House press secretary addressed:
“We’re not making a predetermination of that from here,” said Jen Psaki. “We put both forward both funding requests today because they’re both vital we need them both to help the Ukrainians and help ensure we’re continuing to help ensure our covid programs in this country but we’re not gonna predetermine for congress how they should move forward there’s just an urgency for moving them forward.”
But Congressman Keller has his reservations.
“We are concerned about what is happening to the innocent people in Ukraine and helping them but we should not be looking at more COVID relief,” said Keller. “There are literally hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars unspent for COVID and you’ve got governments that have given money back to people incentivizing them not to work and a whole bunch of other things. This stuff needs to end. Sooner or later we need to get back to work.”