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

Washington: After months of delay, the Senate successfully passed a USD 95 billion package aimed at providing aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, CNN reported.

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

The comprehensive package, which now awaits President Biden's signature, bundles together four bills that had previously faced hurdles in both chambers of Congress. This legislative feat follows a rare Saturday session in the House, where nearly USD 61 billion in aid for Ukraine, over USD 26 billion for Israel, and more than USD 8 billion for the Indo-Pacific were approved.

Notably, the package includes provisions to increase sanctions on Russian assets and contains language that could lead to a ban on the popular social media platform TikTok. Under the bill, Chinese parent company ByteDance is given a nine-month ultimatum to divest from TikTok or face a ban from American app stores--a move aimed at safeguarding national security interests.

When asked about the bill's prospects, McConnell expressed optimism, saying, "Hope so." His leadership played a pivotal role in navigating the legislation through the Senate, despite internal divisions within his party.
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 had been fraught with obstacles, as House and Senate Republicans initially insisted on addressing border security concerns before proceeding with foreign aid. Former President Donald Trump's opposition to the final deal further complicated negotiations, leading Republicans to discard the border package.

McConnell emphasised the importance of upholding American leadership and global responsibilities, describing the Senate's action as "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.

( Source : ANI )
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