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Business News/ News / World/  US Senate passes $95 billion aid for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan; Joe Biden says ‘we support our friends’
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US Senate passes $95 billion aid for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan; Joe Biden says ‘we support our friends’

The US Senate finally approved a $95 billion emergency aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, highlighting the rise of isolationism in the Republican Party and damaging US foreign policy pledges.

US Senate passes Ukraine aid, arms shipments to resume in days. Premium
US Senate passes Ukraine aid, arms shipments to resume in days.

US President Joe Biden will sign a bill of national security package to deliver a long-delayed $95 billion emergency aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan on April 24. The Senate passed the aid for besieged US allies on Tuesday night, clearing the way for resumed arms shipments to Kyiv within days.

“Congress has passed my legislation to strengthen our national security and send a message to the world about the power of American leadership: we stand resolutely for democracy and freedom, and against tyranny and oppression," the statement read.

The need is urgent: for Ukraine, facing unrelenting bombardment from Russia; for Israel, which just faced unprecedented attacks from Iran; for refugees and those impacted by conflicts and natural disasters around the world, including in Gaza, Sudan, and Haiti; and for our partners seeking security and stability in the Indo-Pacific, Biden said.

More than two years after the invasion started, Ukraine's fighting forces are in danger of a Russian breakthrough due to severe weapon shortages and an urgent need for more air defense systems.

‘Better late than never’

The US Senate voted 79–18 on Tuesday night, breaking a congressional deadlock over aid that Biden had asked for about six months ago. This delay has emphasized the rise of isolationism in the Republican Party and damaged the legitimacy of US foreign policy pledges.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who backed the assistance package said, "Better late than never. We don’t have to give up on Ukraine, and we’re not going to."

After the House passed the bill by a bipartisan vote of 311 to 112, the Senate was certain to approve the package. Even though most of his fellow Republicans rejected the plan, Speaker Mike Johnson persisted with it.

The $61 billion for Ukraine includes $13 billion to replenish US stockpiles for weapons already provided and $14 billion for US-made defense systems to be given to Ukraine. It also has $7 billion for US military operations in the region. 

The bill’s $9.5 billion in economic assistance to Ukraine comes in the form of a loan that the president can fully forgive after the next election.

(With Bloomberg inputs)

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Published: 24 Apr 2024, 08:55 AM IST
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