The US Senate passed a $95 billion aid package for Ukraine and Israel, but it risks being rejected by Republicans in the House of Representatives.
The US Senate voted early Tuesday morning (local time) on a bill that provides for the release of $95.34 billion in foreign aid, which includes, among other things, financial assistance for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, now being prepared of a confrontation with the House of Representatives, as the president of this forum, Mike Johnson, criticized the law, reports CNN.
Senators approved the legislation by a vote of 70-29, which exceeded the 60-vote threshold needed for approval, and now sends the bill to the House of Representatives. Twenty-two Republicans joined the majority of Democrats to support the bill, Reuters notes.
It is unclear whether Mike Johnson, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, will hold a vote on the legislative package, with many Republicans in the House opposing additional aid to Ukraine.
How the money is divided
The foreign aid package includes billions of dollars in support for Ukraine and security assistance for Israel, as well as humanitarian assistance for civilians in Gaza, the West Bank and Ukraine, among other priorities.
But the bill passed the Senate, despite Johnson’s criticism of the text and the fact that former President Donald Trump also showed his opposition, arguing that the US should stop providing foreign aid, except if it is in the form of a loan.
Among other policy provisions, the bill includes $60 billion to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia, $14.1 billion for security assistance to Israel, $9.2 billion for humanitarian assistance, and 4, $8 billion to support regional partners in the Indo-Pacific region, according to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“The chamber will have to find a way forward and it will have to do it in their own way, but we had to start the process and we did so,” John Thune, the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, told reporters on Tuesday, according to News.ro.
The US Senate passed the legislation after Republicans last week blocked a broader bill that would have combined foreign aid with a bipartisan border deal that included anti-immigration measures. Republicans initially called for border security to be part of the bill, but then rejected the bipartisan border deal amid attacks on the measure from Trump and prominent House Republicans.
On Monday, House Speaker Mike Johnson criticized the foreign aid bill for its lack of border provisions, saying the Senate “should have gone back to the drawing board to amend the current bill to include provisions real border security measures that would have really helped put an end to the ongoing catastrophe”.
Trump, against the package
Johnson had previously opposed the broader bill that included provisions on borders. The Speaker characterized those provisions as insufficient, despite the fact that they were the product of bipartisan negotiations and included restrictive border measures.
The Senate continued to move forward with the bill as Donald Trump argued that the US should not give foreign aid unless it is a loan, signaling his opposition to the legislation. Trump also said he would encourage Russian aggression against any NATO member country that does not have sufficient GDP allocations for defense.
A number of Republicans in the Senate – where Democrats hold a narrow majority, unlike the Republican-dominated House of Representatives – either defended or downplayed Trump’s comments on NATO on Monday.
In the Senate, the examination of the bill had been dragging on for several days. On Sunday, just hours before the start of the Super Bowl, the chamber cast a key vote to advance the measure, 67 to 27.
Tags: Ukraine, USA, senate,
Publication date: 13-02-2024 14:16
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