U.S. Senate Passes $95.3 Billion Aid Packages For Ukraine, Israel And Taiwan

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the chamber’s approval of the aid package shows that ‘American leadership will not waver’ (Picture: Getty Images)

The US Senate has passed a roughly $95.3 billion package that includes aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, after weeks of hurdles.

Senators approved the foreign aid package on a 70-29 vote early Tuesday, with 22 Republicans including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joining all Democrats to surpass the 60 votes that were needed.

‘History settles every account,’ stated McConnell. ‘And today, on the value of American leadership and strength, history will record that the Senate did not blink.’

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the passage showed that ‘American leadership will not waver, will not falter, will not fail’.

But the package is far from final approval.

The bill is headed for a showdown in the GOP-controlled House, where Speaker Mike Johnson has already cast doubt on the legislation. It faces opposition from hardline Republicans aligned with ex-President Donald Trump, who has argued that the US should only give more aid foreign aid if it is a loan.

‘Today, the Senate made sure that the United States is closer to meeting the monumental and consequential moment that we are in,’ said Schumer.

‘Now, it’s up to the House to meet this moment, to do the right thing and save democracy as we know it.’

Here is a breakdown of where the funding would go:

Ukraine: $60billion

The bill allots $60billion to support Ukraine’s fight against Russia.

About a third of the funding, $20billion, would go toward US defense contractors. Close to $20billion would be used to replenish a stockpile of weapons and supplies that the Defense Department has already given to Ukraine. Nearly $14billion would be put toward a Defense Department program used to buy new weapons for Ukraine via American manufacturers.

‘For us in Ukraine, continued US assistance helps to save human lives from Russian terror. It means that life will continue in our cities and will triumph over war,’ wrote Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on X (Twitter) after the passage in the Senate.

‘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.’

Israel: $14.1billion

The legislation includes $14.1billion in security assistance to Israel in its fight against Hamas. Roughly $4billion of that would go toward Israel’s air defenses, and $1.2billion to a laser weapons system to destroy and intercept missiles.

Another $9.2billion is included for humanitarian assistance in food, water, shelter and medical aid to Gaza, where almost a quarter of residents have been starving, as well as to war-torn areas including Israel and Ukraine.

Taiwan: $8billion

The bill includes more than $8billion to help the US’s partners in the Indo-Pacific defend themselves against aggression from China. It allocates $1.9billion to replenish weapons that the US gave to Taiwan and roughly $3.3billion to construct submarines manufactured in America to support a security partnership with the UK and Australia.

Other provisions

The legislation also sets aside around $400million for a grant program assisting nonprofits and religious organizations in protecting themselves from hate crimes.

President Joe Biden urged House Republicans to back the legislation. He said that ‘when America gives its word it means something’, and that ‘Donald Trump looks at this as if it’s a burden’.

‘Supporting this bill is standing up to Putin, Opposing it is playing into Putin’s hands,’ said Biden. ‘History is watching.’

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