US Senate Passes Multibillion Dollar Bombs For Buddies Bill, But Can It Get Through The House?

Photo credit: US Department of Defense. The fearsome Bradley Fighting Vehicle is one of the weapons that the US is likely to send to allies if the aid bill passes the House of Representatives.
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The U.S. Senate voted early Tuesday to approve a $95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, but the measure still faces opposition in the Republican-led House of Representatives and is not guaranteed to pass in the lower chamber of government.

The Senate bill passed 70-29 with more than a dozen Republicans joining the majority Democrats in support.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy quickly expressed gratitude, saying U.S. aid “helps to save human lives from Russian terror.”

“American assistance brings just peace in Ukraine closer and restores global stability, resulting in increased security and prosperity for all Americans and all the free world,” Zelenskyy said on X.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the measure will “greatly impact not just our national security, not just the security of our allies, but the security of Western democracy.”

“With this bill, the Senate declares that American leadership will not waiver, will not falter, will not fail,” Schumer said after the final vote total was announced.

He pointed to the bipartisan support and expressed confidence that a vote in the House would bring a similar outcome.

But House Republicans have tied objections to further Ukraine assistance with a push for action on security at the U.S.-Mexico border.

House Speaker Mike Johnson said Monday that the priority is to “secure America’s own border before sending additional foreign aid around the world” and that the current Senate bill is “silent on the most pressing issue facing our country.”

Senate Republicans last week blocked advancing a measure that included the foreign assistance along with provisions to tighten restrictions at the U.S.-Mexico border to try to curb the flow of thousands of migrants from crossing into the United States each day.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump opposed the border measure as not tough enough and Republican lawmakers followed his lead on the issue.

The Senate moved on to a standalone aid package, with the measure that passed Tuesday including $61 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel, nearly $5 billion to support partners in the Indo-Pacific, including Taiwan, and other assistance.

The Pentagon sent the last approved round of aid to Ukraine on December 27, 2023.

President Joe Biden said last week that Congress not backing additional aid for Ukraine would be “outrageous.”

“The failure of the United States Congress, if it occurs, not to support Ukraine, is close to criminal neglect,” Biden said.

Republicans have generally supported more aid for Israel’s war against Hamas militants, although many U.S. lawmakers, especially progressive Democrats, have vocally condemned Israel for the extent of its counteroffensive that Palestinian health officials say has killed more than 28,000 people in Gaza after the Hamas terror attack in October that Israel says killed 1,200.

But some right-wing Republican lawmakers, many of them aligned with Trump, have voiced increasing opposition to sending more aid to Ukraine for its fight against the Russian invasion, imperiling approval of the assistance even though most Democratic lawmakers are in favor.

“We have already given Ukraine more than $120 billion. This is more than enough money to secure every border in our country, unfortunately, but predictably, the $120 billion we’ve sent Ukraine has resulted in a years-long stalemate that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives, both Ukrainian and Russian,” Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville said on the Senate floor Monday.

Source: VOA.
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