Senate Set to Approve Billions in Foreign Aid

Approval for billions of dollars in foreign aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan is expected in the U.S. Senate this week, following the House of Representatives’ successful passage of the assistance in a rare Saturday session, ending a long-standing stalemate.

The Senate will consider the package of four bills from the House, including $61 billion for Ukraine, $26 billion for Israel, $8.12 billion to counter communist China in the Indo-Pacific, and measures such as a potential TikTok ban, transfer of seized Russian assets to Ukraine, and new sanctions on Iran.

The package is likely to pass in the Senate and head to President Joe Biden’s desk for quick approval, paving the way for military aid to Ukraine in the fight against Russian forces. This support is expected to boost Ukraine’s defense capabilities and deter a significant Russian advance in the east.

The impact of the aid on the conflict in Gaza, particularly how it will affect Israel’s campaign in the region, remains to be seen. The package includes humanitarian assistance aimed at helping Palestinians in Gaza.

The House passed the bill for Israel with overwhelming support, with some Republicans and Democrats voting against it. The Senate previously passed security aid for Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific with bipartisan support.

President Biden has committed to providing new security assistance to Ukraine once the supplemental spending bills are signed into law. The funding for Ukraine includes $8 billion in Presidential Drawdown Authority.

Despite some opposition, particularly from Republicans, the House passed the Ukraine funding. Speaker Mike Johnson faced criticism from within his party for relying on Democratic support for the bill’s passage.

Following the House vote, the Senate is expected to act swiftly on the aid package. President Biden reassured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of continued support in a recent phone call.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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