Fredericksburg Free Press: Spanberger, Wittman on Funding Bill

FREDERICKSBURG FREE PRESS, MARTIN DAVIS

This afternoon, the U.S. House approved a $95 billion package composed of four bills that will provide vital aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, as well as new sanctions and a Tik-Tok ban. This bill, which passed along bipartisan lines, now moves to the U.S. Senate.

In a press release, Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D, Va – 7) said:

“Today, serious lawmakers did their jobs, voted to maintain our standing in the world, and demonstrated the power a

nd goodwill of the United States of America. In contrast, the voices calling for America’s retreat from the world stage were ignored — and history will remember their weakness, if it will remember them at all.

This package — largely identical to legislation the U.S. Senate passed with 70 votes in February — delivers long overdue aid to our allies in Ukraine in their war against Putin’s army. Additionally, it provides security assistance to Taiwan, defensive support to Israel, and vital humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza and the West Bank. These are priorities not just for global stability, but for America’s national security.

Representative Rob Wittman (R, Va – 1) said:

Russia is waging the largest land war in Europe since World War II against a sovereign democratic nation, China continues its military buildup to threaten Taiwan, and Iran is funding terrorists while directly attacking our ally Israel.

America First means supporting American interests both at home and abroad. These critical security bills will provide our pro-democracy and freedom-loving allies and partners with the resources they need to defend themselves. Passing this aid sends a clear message to our adversaries that America stands on the side of freedom.

The bill now goes before the Senate where it’s likely to pass and be moved to President Biden’s desk for signing.

Wittman’s press release included the following breakdown of what the four bills approaved contain.

Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act:

  • Replenishes the Iron Dome and David’s Sling systems, critical resources that protect civilians and have no offensive capabilities.
  • Procures defensive weapons, artillery, and munitions.
  • Backs U.S. military operations responding to Iranian-backed terror.
  • Restocks defense articles and services provided to Israel.
  • Replenish defense articles and defense services provided to Israel.
  • Creates reporting requirements to Congress on the diversion, misuse, or destruction of assistance provided and funds the Office of the Inspector General to oversee and monitor assistance made available.
  • Prohibits funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Ukraine Security Supplemental Appropriations Act:

  • Converts all financial assistance to Ukraine’s government into a loan. 
  • Requires the Administration to submit to Congress within 45 days a strategy establishing specific and achievable objectives, with metrics, that define and prioritize U.S. national security interests. 
  • Bolsters oversight through in-person monitoring requirements under the Special Inspector General for Operation Atlantic Resolve, stood up in the FY24 NDAA due to Republican efforts.
  • Requires partners and allies to pay their fair share through cost-matching requirements. 
  • Replenish American defense stockpiles. 
  • Procurement of advanced weapons systems, defense articles, and defense services. 
  • Provides for the oversight and accountability of aid and equipment provided to Ukraine.

Indo-Pacific Security Supplemental Appropriations Act:

  • Strengthens deterrence over Beijing’s growing military provocations around Taiwan.
  • Invests in submarine infrastructure, dry dock construction, and production of artillery and critical munitions.
  • Curbs the Chinese Communist Party’s strategy to acquire control over the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Enhances security cooperation with regional partners and supports U.S. military operations.

21st Century Peace Through Strength Act: 

  • Authorizes the REPO Act, which seizes and transfers an estimated $5 billion of Russian sovereign assets in the United States to Ukraine.  
  • Authorizes the FEND Off Fentanyl Act, which implements sanctions on transnational criminal organizations and members of drug cartels engaged in international fentanyl trafficking, and cracks down on fentanyl related money laundering. 

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