The Senate approves an aid package for Israel and Ukraine

A day after Republicans blocked a bigger bipartisan bill pertaining to border security and foreign aid, the Senate has cleared an aid package for Israel and Ukraine. Legislators overcame a first obstacle by voting 67–32 to take up the $95 billion (£75.2 billion) aid plan. Republicans are split on whether to approve the aid, while Democrats support it. The revised plan removes a number of US border provisions from a bipartisan $118 billion proposal that was rejected on Wednesday by Senate Republicans. There is still a great deal of debate among Republican senators on the latest version, so it is unknown what will happen to it. This might make the process take many days.

 

The House of Representatives, a body with a Republican majority that has not been ready to approve such funds, must still approve the help even if the Senate decides to approve it. But Congress’s chance to approve aid for Ukraine may be limited going forward, as Ukraine has cautioned that it might not be able to effectively defend itself against Russia without support from Washington. The political impasse in Congress has prevented the US, the country that gives Ukraine the most help, from sending more money since December. The measure’s drafter, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, hailed the vote as a “good first step” and promised to “keep working on this bill – until the job is done”.

 

$60 billion in military aid for Ukraine and $14.1 billion in security support for Israel are included in the package. Additionally, it offers $9.15 billion in humanitarian aid to people living in war-torn nations. Senate Republicans have finally consented to take up this version of the bill related to foreign aid after initially rejecting the original version. Still, they have left the door open for more adjustments. Republicans might decide to include some of the border controls that were cut from the original bill or eliminate some of the funds that the bill was going to offer. Congress was requested to approve a package containing foreign aid by the White House some months prior. Their plan is identical to the one being discussed right now.

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