Ukraine aid passes both chambers, with bipartisan support from Iowa’s congressional delegation

The $1.5 trillion spending bill, which includes nearly $14 billion for aid to Ukraine, now head’s to President Joe Biden’s desk.


Photos of Sen. Chuck Grassley (Katina Zentz/The Daily Iowan) and Sen. Joni Ernst (Hannah Kinson/The Daily Iowan)

Natalie Dunlap, Politics Editor

The U.S. Senate passed a spending bill that includes $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine on Thursday, with Republican Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst voting in favor of the bill

The legislation passed out of the U.S. House on Wednesday with support for the defense portion of the spending from Republican Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Randy Feenstra, Ashley Hinson, and Democrat Cindy Axne. Feenstra voted against the domestic portion of the legislation. The bill now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature. 

The spending bill, H.R. 2471, totals $1.5 trillion in appropriations and is a significant bipartisan piece of legislation. 

Following the House vote, Miller-Meeks released a statement praising the increased defense spending by over $40 billion, reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, and providing support to Ukraine. 

“I was proud to see so many of my priorities in this bill, including community-based projects, legislation, and important policy provisions to help the American people,” Miller-Meeks said. “I was able to work with leaders across the district to ensure that important programs and projects received the funding they deserve and will continue to fight in Congress for the benefit of all Iowans.”

Miller-Meeks represents Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, which will receive millions in funding for the Corps of Engineers Construction Upper Mississippi River-Illinois WW System project, Reconstruction of Iowa Highway 38, the City of Burlington for a sewer separation project, City of Ottumwa for the Blake’s Branch sewer project, and Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, among other projects. 

Grassley critiqued Democrats for lumping the Ukraine aid in with other funding he found excessive. Grassley called for a stand alone vote on Ukraine aid, but this request wasn’t met. 

“So we are in a no-win situation. While I support many provisions in the spending bill, I do not support its unnecessary price tag,” Grassley said in a prepared statement. “But in the end, we can’t in good conscience turn our backs on the people of Ukraine as they face sustained and unprovoked attacks from a murderous Russian aggressor.”

Ernst and Grassley are also calling on Biden to transfer jets to Ukraine along with 40 other Republican senators who wrote a letter to the president. 

“We implore you to act without delay to provide urgently needed airpower that will bolster the ability of the Ukrainian armed forces to defend their country and help save civilian lives,” the letter reads.