US Senate Begins Passage Vote on Ukraine Aid Bill

A $95.34 billion assistance package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan is up for vote in the Democratic-led U.S. Senate on Tuesday. This comes despite mounting uncertainty about the legislation’s chances of passing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

To move the legislation to the House, the legislators must receive 60 votes. How long the chamber would take to finish the pre-dawn vote was unclear.

For months, Democratic President Joe Biden has been pressuring Congress to expedite the additional aid to Taiwan and other U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific region, as well as Ukraine. He also asked for financial support for the American ally and humanitarian relief for the Palestinians in Gaza following Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7.

Additionally, Ukrainian officials have alerted the public of a lack of guns at a time when

But both houses of Congress must approve the legislation before Biden can sign it into law.

The bill appears to face long odds of getting to the floor in the House, where Republican Speaker Mike Johnson faulted it for lacking conservative provisions to stem a record flow of migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border.

“In the absence of having received any single border policy change from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own will on these important matters,” Johnson said in a statement issued late on Monday.

“America deserves better than the Senate’s status quo,” said Johnson, who has suggested in the past that the House could split the legislation into separate bills.

Senator John Thune, the chamber’s No. 2 Republican, said it was not clear what Johnson would do.

“The House, I assume, is going to move on something. Obviously, they’re going to address Israel,” Thune said.

Hardline Republicans predicted that the Senate legislation would be dead on arrival in the House.

“The bill before us today … will never pass in the House, will never become law,” Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida said in an early morning floor speech.

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

Republicans have demanded for months that the foreign aid bill include border restrictions.

But a bipartisan border deal, negotiated over the course of months, ran afoul of most Senate Republicans after it was rejected by Donald Trump, the party’s leading White House candidate.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stripped the border security language from the bill last week.

Trump, who hopes to use the border issue to unseat Biden in the November election, has since turned his criticism on the foreign aid bill, saying on social media that aid to U.S. allies should instead take the form of loans.

Aid to Ukraine faces powerful headwinds in the House, where Trump’s interests hold greater sway with Republicans who control the chamber by a thin majority.

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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