Following the White House’s recent request of $10 billion worth of funding for additional humanitarian, security, and economic assistance for Ukraine and US’ Central European partners last March 2 as outlined in a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the US Senate has now passed a $1.5 trillion government funding bill which included $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine. The Senate approved the funding bill with a 68 to 31 vote.

Last Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to pass the government funding bill in an apparent race against the clock, ahead of the Friday deadline when government funding is set to expire. Lawmakers from both camps had been frustrated with the process of the passage as there was little to no time to review the 2,741-page legislative text, which was released at 1:30 am ET last Wednesday.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaking with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. (Wikimedia Commons). Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nancy_Pelosi_(47998992938).jpg
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaking with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. (Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of AmericaCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

An intra-party Democrat dispute threatened to derail the process as debates regarding the funds allocated in the American Rescue Plan were proposed to be used as an offset to the new legislation, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi caught in the middle of it. Some house democrats from the 30 states that were to lose COVID-19 relief funding believed that they were being stabbed in the back as COVID-19 relief would be eliminated from the package without consultation.

“We fought like tooth and nail to get these dollars home to our state governments. And now we’re sitting here this morning talking about that being called back is the option,” said Democratic Rep. Angie Craig of Minnesota, who walked out of Pelosi’s office.