Espreso. Global

US House of Representatives may support aid to Ukraine in form of lend-lease or loan

14 March, 2024 Thursday

Mike Johnson told Republican senators that the Lower House of the US Congress will prepare its own bill to help Ukraine, which will have significant changes. He suggested that the support could be in the form of a lend-lease or a loan

This is reported by The Hill.

Senators who participated in the discussion told media that Johnson put forward an idea for an aid project for Ukraine to be prepared by the House of Representatives. It will be different from the document that the Senate has already approved, namely, in the form of a loan or a land-lot to protect the interests of US taxpayers.

Johnson also talked about creating an instrument similar to the one already proposed by Republican Mike McCaul. It would allow for the confiscation of Russian sovereign assets and their transfer from liquidated property to a fund to support Ukraine.

At the same time, the Speaker of the House of Representatives did not specify whether such assistance to Ukraine would include provisions on US border security.

According to Senator John Cornyn, one of the Republicans who voted for the Senate-approved Ukraine aid bill, he is "pretty optimistic" that the House will send the funding bill to the Senate.

“I’ve heard the Speaker now say ‘We’re not going to leave Ukraine empty-handed,’ or words to that effect,” he said.  

Senator Kevin Cramer noted that Johnson had clearly stated his intention to help Ukraine.

“He was pretty clear about it,” Cramer said of Johnson’s indication that he would like to pass a lend-lease program and legislation to seize Russian assets to pay for a Ukraine support fund.

Speaking to journalists in the evening, Speaker Johnson assured them that he would carry out the will of the House of Representatives on the aid package for Ukraine.

“No one wants Vladimir Putin to prevail. I’m of the opinion that he wouldn’t stop at Ukraine … and go all through the way through Europe,” he said. “There is a right and wrong there, a good versus evil in my view, and Ukraine is the victim here.”

At the same time, the speaker emphasized that Republicans are now considering all the different funding options and warned that any House plan may look different from the draft passed by the Senate.

  • On February 13, the US Senate finally approved a law containing an aid package for Ukraine.
  • On February 14, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson said that Republicans have no plans to vote for a bill to help Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, as the United States must take care of its own problems before solving them around the world.
  • On February 16, the US House of Representatives adjourned for recess until the end of February, and did not vote for the bill passed by the Senate to provide aid to Ukraine.
  • On February 19, US President Joe Biden said he was ready to meet with House Speaker Mike Johnson to discuss a bill to help Ukraine. The meeting took place on February 27.
  • On February 28, speakers of 23 parliaments called on the US House of Representatives to consider aid to Ukraine.
  • On February 29, Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson, answering a question about approving aid to Ukraine, said he would move to it as soon as the government's spending bill was approved.
  • On March 1, after a vote in Congress, Biden signed a law that would temporarily extend funding for federal agencies to prevent a government shutdown in the country.
  • On March 13, during a visit to the United States, Justice Minister Denys Maliuska said that Ukraine could receive $8.5 billion from the blocked aid package in the form of a loan.
  • On March 14, it was reported that the Lower House of the US Congress should pass a bill on financial aid for Ukraine by the end of next week at the latest.
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