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Tags: senate | aid | ukraine | israel | taiwan | donald trump | foreign

Senate Advances $95.34 Billion Aid for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan

Sunday, 11 February 2024 02:31 PM EST

A narrowly divided Senate moved closer to passing a $95.34 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan on Sunday, showing undiminished bipartisanship despite growing opposition from Republican hardliners and Donald Trump.

The Democrat-led Senate cleared the latest procedural hurdle and moved the foreign aid measure further on toward an ultimate vote on passage at some point in the coming days.

The money is viewed as crucial by Kyiv, as it grinds toward the second anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But Senate passage would send the bill on to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where it faces an uncertain future.

Democrat President Joe Biden, who has been seeking the aid for months, on Friday said Congress would be guilty of "neglect" if it failed to pass the measure.

The bill could move more quickly if Democrats and Republicans reach an agreement to fast-track the measure. But no such deal has emerged so far.

The bill includes $61 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel in its war against Hamas and $4.83 billion to support partners in the Indo-Pacific, including Taiwan, and deter aggression by China.

It also would provide $9.15 billion in humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza and the West Bank, Ukraine and other conflict zones around the globe.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, who has a slim 219-212 Republican majority, has indicated that he could try to split the aid provisions into separate measures once the bill arrives from the Senate.

But a standalone aid bill for Israel fell victim in the House last week to opposition from Democrats who favor the broader Senate legislation and from hardline Republicans who wanted compensating spending cuts, in a pair of humiliating defeats for Johnson.

During a visit to Kyiv on Friday, a bipartisan delegation of House lawmakers vowed to do their part to pass the measure.

Senate Republicans believe bipartisan passage would help stir support among Republicans in the House.

"It will shape the environment such that ... more Republicans will feel comfortable advancing the bill," Senator Todd Young, an Indiana Republican, told reporters.

Republican support for the measure could grow and the pace of progress could quicken if Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell, can reach an agreement allowing votes on Republican amendments.

Republicans want amendments that could address the record flow of migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border and forgo humanitarian assistance provisions by restricting foreign aid to weapons and materiel.

But some Republicans who oppose further aid to Ukraine have vowed to delay consideration by forcing the Senate to comply with a labyrinth of time-consuming parliamentary rules.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


US
A narrowly divided Senate moved closer to passing a $95.34 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan on Sunday, showing undiminished bipartisanship despite growing opposition from Republican hardliners and Donald Trump.
senate, aid, ukraine, israel, taiwan, donald trump, foreign
434
2024-31-11
Sunday, 11 February 2024 02:31 PM
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