Washington, February 13, 2024, The Europe Today: In a significant move, the Democratic-led U.S. Senate approved a $95.34 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel on Tuesday, although its fate remains uncertain in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
The legislation garnered bipartisan support, securing a 70-29 vote in the Senate, comfortably surpassing the required 60-vote threshold for passage. Twenty-two Republicans joined most Democrats in endorsing the bill, emphasizing the bipartisan nature of the initiative.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer highlighted the historic significance of the bill, stating, “It’s certainly been years, perhaps decades, since the Senate has passed a bill that so greatly impacts not just our national security, not just the security of our allies, but the security of Western democracy.”
Schumer expressed confidence that the bill would receive support from both parties in the House, urging Republican Speaker Mike Johnson to expedite the legislative process. However, Speaker Johnson’s stance remains unclear, as he issued a statement before the Senate vote, criticizing the absence of conservative provisions to address the record flow of migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border.
The aid package is crucial for Ukraine, as it continues to defend itself against Russian attacks and strives to sustain its economy amid the prolonged conflict entering its third year. President Joe Biden has been advocating for additional aid to Ukraine for months, encountering opposition from Republican hardliners, particularly in the House.
The Senate vote took place before sunrise, following a marathon of speeches by eight hardline Republican opponents of Ukraine aid that dominated the chamber floor from Monday afternoon into the early hours of Tuesday.
The comprehensive aid package also includes provisions for Israel, humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza, and assistance for Taiwan and other U.S. partners in the Indo-Pacific to counter China. Ukrainian officials have emphasized the critical need for funding, citing potential weapons shortages as Russia intensifies attacks.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy welcomed the passage of the bill, stating, “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.”
The legislation now moves to the House of Representatives, where its future hinges on the decisions and priorities of the Republican-controlled chamber. Both houses of Congress must approve the bill before President Biden can sign it into law.