On February 8, the US Senate voted to advance the $95 billion bill, which includes financial assistance to Ukraine, Israel and allies in the Indo-Pacific region. On Thursday, the document received so-called procedural support in the Senate.
A day earlier, Republicans in the upper house of Congress blocked a compromise bill that also included appropriations for immigration policy reform.
On Thursday, 67 legislators supported the new project, 32 voted against it. Before it is put to the final vote, members of the Senate will discuss amendments to the document.
This bill includes $61 billion for the needs of Ukraine, which continues to defend itself from Russian invasion. $14 billion is earmarked for Israel as support for the war with Hamas, which is recognized as a terrorist organization in the United States and EU countries. Almost another $5 billion is planned to be sent to Washington’s partners in the Indo-Pacific region, including Taiwan, and to deter aggression from China.
Even if this bill is eventually passed by the Senate, it will face a fierce fight in the House of Representatives, where a group of right-wing Republicans loyal to former President Donald Trump strongly oppose aid to Ukraine. Republicans have a small majority in the House of Representatives.
Since the fall of last year, the administration of US President Joe Biden has been trying to agree on a new package for Ukraine to help it defend itself against a full-scale military invasion by Russia. Washington is considered the main ally of Kyiv, so Ukraine is highly dependent on support from the United States.
- Republicans in Congress demanded that any aid to Ukraine be part of a package that includes immigration reform and increased funding for the protection of the southern part of the US border.
- Over the past four months, a bipartisan group of senators has worked out a compromise agreement that includes the demands of Republicans. However, this week members of the Republican Party sharply changed their position after Trump, who has great influence in the party and is seeking a second presidential term, condemned the bill. The measures were considered insufficient.
- After the document failed on February 7, the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, announced that he would try to get the bill approved, excluding the border-related clauses.