In a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Representatives August Pfluger (R-Texas), Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) and J. Luis Correa (D-Calif.) urged them to keep the House in session to pass vital aid to Ukraine, which is currently in the eighth day of a war after Russian President Vladimir Putin moved to invade the country last week.
“Although we are heartbroken by these images, we have watched the Ukrainian people stand resiliently against this act of aggression. These people are taking a stand for freedom, boldly demonstrating that freedom is worth fighting for,” they wrote. “Members of this body must show the world that this nation will always stand firmly with our allies and strategic partners in their time of need.”
“For these reasons, we implore you to keep the House in session so that this body can debate and vote as expeditiously as possible on a standalone supplemental package that will provide vital military aid and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine,” they continued. “By working together to craft this standalone package, we can send a clear message to the world that our nation will not tolerate tyranny in any form.”
News of the letter comes as President Joe Biden requests an additional $10 billion in aid for Ukraine from Congress.
“The United States has provided over $1.4 billion in assistance to Ukraine since 2021, and, together with our European allies and partners, we are holding Russia accountable for its unjustified and unprovoked invasion,” the White House said in a statement. “To continue this important work and further support the Ukrainian people, we are requesting $10 billion to deliver additional humanitarian, security, and economic assistance in Ukraine and the neighboring region in the coming days and weeks.”
The $10 billion in requested aid would go toward specific resources, namely “additional defense equipment for Ukraine, lifesaving humanitarian assistance — such as emergency food assistance — for the Ukrainian people, stronger sanctions enforcement, a dedicated task force led by the Department of Justice to go after the ill-gotten gains and other illicit activities of the Russian oligarchs, and additional support for U.S troop deployments to neighboring countries.”
Office of Management and Budget director Shalanda Young said the initial $10 billion request for Ukraine would address “immediate needs,” acknowledging that additional funding could later be needed.
“Given the rapidly evolving situation in Ukraine, I anticipate that additional needs may arise over time. This funding request is based on the Administration’s best information on resource requirements at this time, and we will remain in touch with the Congress in the coming weeks and months as we assess resource requirements beyond these immediate needs,” she said.
Speaker Pelosi has said that remaining in session this weekend would not necessarily expedite the process, saying that the legislation would require “four or five days” to draft as soon as lawmakers reach a deal.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.