US House approves billions of dollars in aid for Ukraine, Israel

The Democratic-controlled Senate is expected to vote on the bill next week and send it to President Joe Biden for his signature.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $95 billion bill to provide security assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan with broad bipartisan support, despite fierce opposition from Republican hardliners.

The bill was introduced Saturday in the Democratic-controlled Senate, which passed a similar bill more than two months ago.

U.S. leaders from Democratic President Joe Biden to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell had urged embattled Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson to bring the matter to a vote.

The Senate is expected to pass the bill next week and urge Biden to sign it.

The bill provides about $61 billion to address the Ukraine conflict, including $23 billion to replenish U.S. weapons, inventories and facilities. $26 billion for Israel (including $9 billion for humanitarian aid); $8 billion for the Asia-Pacific region, including Taiwan.

Mr. Zelensky thanks the House of Representatives

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy thanked U.S. lawmakers for working to “put history on the right track” by supporting his country after it was invaded by Russia.

“The important US aid bill passed by the House of Representatives today will help stop the spread of war, save thousands of lives and make both countries stronger,” President Zelensky said on the X program. .

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the new U.S. law “will deepen the crisis around the world.”

“Military aid to” [Kyiv] The regime is directly supporting terrorist activities,” Zakharova said on Telegram.

It is unclear how quickly new military funding for Ukraine will run out, and will likely lead to calls for further action from Congress.

Biden, who has been pleading with Congress since last year to approve additional aid to Ukraine, said in a statement: “Israel is facing continued shelling from Russia and unprecedented attacks from Iran and Ukraine, and it is in an extremely difficult situation.” We are in a period of emergency.”

The vote to pass the Ukraine funds was 311-112. Only 101 Republicans supported the bill, and 112 voted against it.

NDMT’s Patty Culhane, reporting from Washington, D.C., said the number of Republicans who voted against the bill in the House was significant.

“It’s very remarkable that 112 Republicans voted ‘no’ for a variety of reasons,” she said.

“Some think the European Union should do more to help Ukraine, but others say the money should be spent domestically and that Ukraine has no accountability for how it is spent.

“Although this policy was passed, the question arises what will happen next if Ukraine needs more funds in the future,” the correspondent added.

House of Representatives supports Israel

Meanwhile, the House’s actions during an unusual Saturday session exposed cracks in generally strong support for Israel within Congress.

Support for Israel passed 366-58 in Saturday’s vote, with 37 Democrats and 21 Republicans opposed.

NDMT’s Culhane said the Democrats who voted against the Israel bill were very vocal critics of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“This number may not sound like a big deal… but it’s truly amazing. It would have been unimaginable 10 to 20 years ago,” she said. “I think this signals a major shift in the Democratic Party.”

The long-awaited passage of the bill was closely watched by U.S. defense contractors who could be awarded huge contracts to supply equipment to Ukraine and other U.S. partners.

House Speaker Johnson this week ignored threats of removal from hard-line lawmakers in a finicky 218-213 majority to press ahead with measures including funding for Ukraine, which is struggling to fight two years of Russian aggression. selected.

The four unusual bills also include measures including a threat to ban Chinese-owned social media app TikTok and the possible transfer of seized Russian assets to Ukraine.

Some Republican lawmakers have repeatedly raised threats to remove Johnson from office. He became chairman in October after his predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, was ousted by party hardliners.

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