US House of Representatives Approves $95B Security Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan: Bipartisan Support and Implications

2024-04-20 18:09:10

The US House of Representatives in the Washington Capitol (REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy)

The House of Representatives of USA approved Saturday with a broad bipartisan support a $95 billion legislative package that provides security aid to UkraineIsrael and Taiwan, despite the objections of hardline lawmakers.

The legislation now goes to the Senate, with a Democratic majority, which approved a similar measure more than two months ago. American leaders, from Democratic President Joe Biden to top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell, urged Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson to bring it to a vote.

The Senate is expected to approve the measure next week and send it to Biden to sign into law.

About a dozen Democratic lawmakers waved small Ukrainian flags as it became clear that element of the package was headed toward approval. Johnson told lawmakers it was a “breach of decorum.”

This week, Johnson chose to ignore impeachment threats from hardline members of his fractious 218-213 majority and push ahead with the measure, which includes regarding $60.84 billion for Ukraine, which has been fighting a Russian invasion for two years.

The unusual package of four bills also includes funds for Israel, security aid for Taiwan and allies in the Indo-Pacific and a move that includes sanctions, a threat to ban the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok and the possible transfer of seized Russian assets to Ukraine.

He bill imposing the new limits on TikTok It was the first of the four to be approved this Saturday.

US President Joe Biden is an important ally of Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky (Photo: Europa Press)

“The world is watching what Congress does,” the White House said in a statement Friday. “Passing this legislation would send a powerful message regarding the strength of American leadership at a crucial time. “The Administration urges both houses of Congress to quickly send this supplemental funding package to the president’s desk.”

A bipartisan 316-94 majority in the House of Representatives voted Friday to put the bill to a vote, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told senators to be prepared to work through the weekend if it passes the House as expected.

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“It’s not perfect legislation, it’s not legislation we would write if Republicans were in charge of the House, the Senate and the White House,” Johnson told reporters Friday. “It’s the best possible product we can get under these circumstances to address these really important obligations.”

Some hardline Republicans have expressed strong opposition to more aid to Ukraine, arguing that the United States cannot afford it given its growing national debt of 34 trillion dollars. They have repeatedly raised the threat of ousting Johnson, who became speaker in October following his predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, was ousted by party hardliners.

The Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, who has enormous influence in the party, expressed his support for Johnson on April 12 and in a message published on social networks on Thursday said that Ukraine’s survival is important to the United States.

The bills provide $60.84 billion to address the conflict in Ukraine, including $23 billion to replenish American weapons, stockpiles and facilities; 26 billion for Israel, including 9.1 billion for humanitarian needs, and 8.12 billion for the Indo-Pacific.

(Reuters)

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