UPDATE 1-Pelosi hopes to approve $33 bln Ukraine aid 'as soon as possible'

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By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON, April 29 (Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday she hopes to pass a $33 billion aid package for Ukraine requested by President Joe Biden "as soon as possible."

Biden asked Congress on Thursday for $33 billion to support the government in Kyiv - a dramatic escalation of U.S. funding for the war with Russia more than two months after it invaded Ukraine.

Lawmakers from both parties said they wanted to approve the emergency funding request quickly, but there was no immediate word on exactly when the House of Representatives and Senate might vote amid disputes over what should be in any legislation.

"We hope to as soon as possible pass that legislation," Pelosi told her weekly news conference.

Democrats, who narrowly control Congress, and Republicans disagree over whether to combine the Ukraine funding with billions of dollars for COVID-19 relief that Biden requested in March.

Some Republicans have said they want the two issues to be separate, but some Democrats have seen support for Ukraine aid as a chance to pass COVID relief.

Pelosi said lawmakers would have to "come to terms" with how to address both issues.

"We have emergencies here. We need to have the COVID money and time is of the essence because we need the Ukraine money, we need the COVID money, so I would hope that we can do that," Pelosi said.

Some Republicans have also threatened to tie Biden's funding requests to legislation that would prevent him rescinding "Title 42", an immigration rule imposed under Republican president Donald Trump that allowed U.S. officials to turn asylum seekers away from the U.S. border with Mexico due to the COVID pandemic. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Katharine Jackson; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Kevin Liffey)