US House passes defense bill allocating funds for Ukrainian military and Baltic stability

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The US House of Representatives has passed a $ 770 billion defense bill that funds Ukraine’s military and Baltic stability and pushes back China.

The bill was passed late on December 7 with strong bipartisan support and is expected to pass the Senate this week.

Democrats control both the House and the Senate. Once passed by both houses of Congress, the bill is expected to be signed by President Joe Biden to become law.

The bill authorizes $ 25 billion more than Biden requested and would increase the defense budget by about 5%, but omits a proposal to impose mandatory sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Lawmakers also scrapped an amendment that would have banned U.S. citizens from purchasing Russian sovereign debt.

The Ukrainian army will receive $ 300 million under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, while $ 4 billion is earmarked for the European Defense Initiative and $ 150 million for cooperation security in the Baltic.

Bill targets China with $ 7.1 billion allocated to the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, a statement of congressional support for Taiwan’s defense, and a ban on the Defense Ministry‘s procurement of manufactured goods using forced labor from China’s Xinjiang region.

The United States says China is committing genocide against Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region, with up to 2 million people being held in detention camps.

According to dpa and Reuters reports


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