U.S. House pledges $13.6 bln in Ukraine aid

STORY: The U.S. House voted to approve a massive spending package Wednesday that includes $13.6 billion dollars in emergency aid for Ukraine.

That’s on top of $1.5 trillion in funding to avoid an imminent government shutdown, and keep things running through September 30.

Aid for Ukraine has been one of the few issues receiving bipartisan support in Congress.

The latest package will be split across military and humanitarian funding for its citizens, more than 2 million of whom have already fled the country.

Meanwhile House Democrats were forced to remove a roughly $15 billion COVID-19 aid initiative, after some in the party objected to the way in which aid would’ve been distributed to individual states.

The House also near-unanimously passed legislation to ban U.S. imports of Russian oil in response to the Ukraine invasion.

That bill registers congressional support for the oil ban, just a day after U.S. President Joe Biden used his executive powers to impose it.

It also calls for reviewing Russia's participation in some international trade programs like the World Trade Organization.

But lawmakers abandoned an effort to add language revoking Russia's permanent normal trade relations status.

That would've let the U.S. ratchet up tariffs on Russian imports above the lower levels enjoyed by members of the WTO.

The Senate is expected to vote on the Ukraine aid and federal funding package later this week.