U.S. Senate passes $95 billion foreign aid bill to Ukraine, Israel

(The Center Square) – The U.S. Senate passed a $95 billion foreign aid bill for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan after days of delay from Republicans who did not want to pass the funding without provisions to secure the southern border.

The legislation passed early Tuesday morning after a filibuster largely led by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., ended. Now the legislation goes to the House, where it remains unclear if they can get the votes.

“This morning the America last caucus got a $61 billion aid package out of the Senate. But they paid dearly for this small win. The House won’t pass the current bill,” Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, Tuesday morning. “We must fix our country before devoting more resources to Ukraine. That’s our message, and the fight goes on.”

The bill includes $60 billion for Ukraine, about $14 billion for Israel and roughly $4 billion for the Indo-Pacific region, which will help Taiwan, a small but economically important island experts fear could be invaded by China at any time.

The bill also includes about $9 billion in humanitarian aid, much of it for Gaza. Republican critics of the bill were vocal after its passage, but it will likely have broad Democratic support, meaning only a portion of House Republicans will have to defect. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill if it makes it to his desk.

“Borrowing money from China to give it to Ukraine, at rising interest rates, does not make America stronger,” U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., wrote online. “I can’t even believe I have to say this.”

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the U.S for its support online Tuesday morning.

“The decision by the United States Senate to continue the support for our country and our warriors has been anticipated not only by us, but also by many other nations, particularly those in Europe,” Zelensky wrote on X. “The world is looking for American leadership to remain steadfast, help protect lives, and preserve freedom. “This truly contributes to confidence and motivation.”

Republican senators were nearly split in half on the vote, half in favor and half opposed.

“In the early morning when nobody was watching, the Senate voted to plow another $60 billion of your money into Ukraine,” U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., wrote on X. “Not a penny for Missouri. Not a penny for radiation victims. But the Big War machine gets its billions. What a betrayal.”

The vote came after a previous foreign aid bill failed last week. That $118 billion bill included a litany of border measures negotiated by Senate Republican leadership with Democrats.

When the text of the bill was released a little over a week ago, though, a large contingent of the Republican party immediately rejected the deal. The bill tightened restrictions on amnesty and put in place a measure to close the border immediately if it becomes overwhelmed.

Republicans said the bill included loopholes allowing the head of the Department of Homeland Security to grant asylum at large. They also said that the border is already overwhelmed and should be shut down immediately.

Former President Donald Trump warned Republicans, “don’t fall for it,” and U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said that bill would be dead on arrival.

Several Republican senators publicly critiqued the bill as well, helping kill the legislation almost immediately. After the failed border and foreign aid compromise, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., brought up the nearly $100 billion piece of legislation.

“With the passage of this national security bill, the Senate is telling Putin he will regret the day he questioned America’s resolve,” Schumer wrote on X. “With the passage of this national security bill, the Senate is sending a clear bipartisan message of resolve to our allies in NATO.”

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