The US House of Representatives has approved $6.3bn in emergency assistance to help resettle Afghan refugees in the United States after the country’s evacuation operation from Kabul last month.
The funds are part of a larger $28.6bn disaster relief and stopgap government funding bill passed by the Democratic-led House on Tuesday night by a party-line vote of 220-211 – but it could face an uphill battle in the US Senate.
“This funding will ensure the government agencies involved in the resettlement process have the capacity necessary to help our Afghan allies build new lives in safety in the United States,” said Representative Deborah Ross, a House Democrat.
House Democratic leaders attached the emergency assistance to legislation to fund the US government, which faces a partial shutdown at midnight on September 30 without stopgap funding.
The bill now goes to the US Senate, where it is likely to falter because of overwhelming opposition by Republicans.
Most Republicans in Congress support the funding for Afghan refugees, thousands of whom have been resettled in the US to date, including translators and others who helped US forces over the nation’s 20-year mission in Afghanistan.