US: Senate passes US$95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
3 Min Read

After months of delay, the Senate successfully passed a US$95 billion package aimed at providing aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, CNN reports.

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The bipartisan effort marks a significant victory for President Joe Biden, congressional Democrats and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, who has been a staunch supporter of Ukraine despite growing reluctance from some within his own party.

The sweeping package, which now awaits President Biden's signature, ties together four bills that previously faced hurdles in both houses of Congress. The legislative achievement follows a rare Saturday session in the House, where nearly US$61 billion in aid was approved for Ukraine, more than US$26 billion for Israel and more than US$8 billion for the Indo-Pacific Was.

Specifically, the package includes provisions to expand sanctions on Russian assets and includes language that could lead to a ban on the popular social media platform TikTok. Under the bill, Chinese parent company ByteDance has been given a nine-month ultimatum to divest from TikTok or face a ban from US app stores – a move aimed at protecting national security interests.

Asked about the bill's prospects, McConnell expressed optimism, saying, “There is hope.” Despite internal divisions within his party, his leadership was instrumental in passing the legislation through the Senate.

House Speaker Mike Johnson faced challenges from conservatives within his own party who opposed sending aid to Ukraine. However, after bipartisan negotiations, the legislation ultimately received broad support in the House.

The path to delivering aid to Ukraine and Israel was fraught with obstacles, as House and Senate Republicans initially insisted on addressing border security concerns before moving forward with foreign aid. Former President Donald Trump's opposition to the final agreement further complicated negotiations, leading Republicans to abandon the border package.

McConnell stressed the importance of maintaining American leadership and global responsibilities, calling the Senate action “overdue” and “a test, and we must not fail it.”

“Our global interests come with global responsibilities. Healthy alliances lighten the burden of these responsibilities,'' he also said, CNN reported.

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