Home » US Senate approves $95 billion in aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

US Senate approves $95 billion in aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

by admin
US Senate approves $95 billion in aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

The US Senate voted resoundingly on Tuesday to approve $95 billion in aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, as a bipartisan supermajority united to send the long-stalled package to Joe Biden’s desk for his signature. The final vote was 79 to 18.

The bill easily cleared a key procedural hurdle that same day. The Senate voted overwhelmingly to advance the measure in a move hailed by the majority leader as “one of the biggest accomplishments the Senate has faced in years.”

“Today the Senate sends a unified message to the entire world: America will always defend democracy in its time of need,” Chuck Schumer said in a speech Tuesday afternoon.

“Make no mistake, the United States will keep its promise to act as a leader on the world stage, to hold the line against autocratic bullies like Vladimir Putin,” he continued. “We are showing Putin that betting against the United States is always, always, a serious mistake.”

Chuck Schumer praises bipartisanship as foreign aid bill nears passage – video

After months of delays and setbacks, the House last week passed four bills to speed up funding for three American allies, while approving a conservative proposal that could lead to a nationwide ban on the social media platform TikTok. . The measures were combined into a large package that the Senate approved on Tuesday.

The legislation includes $60.8 billion to replenish Ukraine’s war chest as it seeks to repel Russia from its territory; $26.3 billion for Israel and humanitarian aid for civilians in conflict zones, including Gaza; and $8.1 billion for the Indo-Pacific region to bolster its defenses against China.

See also  After Nigeria and Ghana, Burkina-Faso approves the use of the R21 anti-malaria vaccine

Reacting to the funding for Taiwan, China said it urged the United States to fulfill its commitment not to support “Taiwan independence” with concrete actions and stop arming it in any way, a spokesperson for its Taiwan Affairs Office said.

Taiwan’s military said Sunday it intended to discuss with the United States how to use the money.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz also reacted to his share of the funding, saying it sent a “strong message” to the country’s enemies.

In a phone call on Monday, Biden informed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that he would “act quickly” to send desperately needed military aid to the country. including air defense weaponry, after the Senate passed the bill.

In a move to shore up Republican support, the GOP-controlled House added a provision that would block TikTok in the United States unless its Chinese-owned parent company divests from the social media platform within a year. Much of the foreign aid section of the bill mirrors what the Senate passed in February, with the addition of a measure requiring the president to ask Kiev to repay roughly $10 billion in economic assistance in the form of “ forgivable loans,” an idea that first came up. by Donald Trump, who initially opposed helping Ukraine.

Although the foreign aid package largely resembles the measure passed by the Senate in February, several Republican senators who voted against it changed course and gave their approval on Tuesday.

Among them was Lindsey Graham, a veteran defense advocate who had previously opposed the Senate’s foreign aid package because it was not accompanied by border legislation, but who on Tuesday voted to advance it. After a visit to Ukraine earlier this year, Graham endorsed Trump’s loan plan and has since pointed out Iran’s airstrike against Israel as a reason to send aid to the country.

See also  Emirates Airlines is looking to order more long-haul aircraft - Al-Ghad TV

“Israel needs the US Senate now. No excuses,” Graham wrote in X before voting to advance the bill.

The Senate’s passage of the relief package caps a tortuous odyssey on Capitol Hill that began last year with a request to the White House for a new round of funding for Ukraine and Israel, reeling from the Oct. 7 cross-border attack by part of Hamas.

Despite broad congressional support, the effort stalled almost immediately when a faction of Republicans, increasingly skeptical of U.S. involvement in foreign entanglements, resisted sending more aid to Ukraine. Conservatives began insisting that any funding to foreign countries be accompanied by legislation aimed at stemming the surge of people arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.

When a bipartisan border and national security bill negotiated in the Senate collapsed, Schumer proceeded to move forward with a vote on the foreign aid bill that was up for a vote. It passed overwhelmingly in a 70-29 vote in February, but had no clear path forward in the Republican-controlled House, where the new speaker, Mike Johnson, dithered while Ukraine suffered battlefield losses.

Personal pleas from Biden, congressional leaders and European heads of state, participation in high-level intelligence briefings as speaker of the House of Representatives and prayers finally persuaded Johnson to act. The decision may have a political cost: his position.

“History judges us by what we do,” Johnson said at an emotional news conference last week, after a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers approved the relief package by lopsided margins.

Speaking Tuesday, Schumer praised Johnson, whom he said “rose to the occasion,” as well as Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader with whom the Democrat said he had worked “hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder.” shoulder to get this bill passed.” ”.

See also  Colombia will host the 2024 Women's Under-20 World Cup

“Many people inside and outside Congress wanted this package to fail,” Schumer said. “But today those in Congress who are on the side of democracy are winning the game.”

McConnell has made funding the Ukraine war effort a legacy-building quest after announcing his decision to step down as longtime Senate Republican leader. In a long speech Tuesday, McConnell confronted the strain of the “America First” isolationism favored by Trump and his loyalists in Congress, which is widespread and growing within the Republican Party.

“Today’s action is necessary, but our work does not end here,” he said. “Confidence in American resolve is not rebuilt overnight. Expanding and replenishing the arsenal of democracy does not simply happen by magic.”

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy