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The US Senate passes a $95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

  • By Madeline Halpert
  • BBC News

February 13, 2024, 12:14 GMT

Updated 11 minutes ago

Image source: Getty Images

The US Senate has approved a long-awaited $95bn (£75.2bn) aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan after months of political wrangling.

While Democrats favored passage of the law, Republicans were divided and previously voted against it.

The package includes $60 billion for Kiev, $14 billion for Israel’s war against Hamas and $10 billion for humanitarian aid in conflict zones, including Gaza.

Lawmakers voted 70-29 to approve the package.

The bill now heads to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where its fate remains uncertain.

The measure passed the Senate despite criticism from Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson and former President Donald Trump.

In the end, 22 Republicans voted for the bill, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“History settles everything,” McConnell said in a statement after the vote. “And today, history will show that the Senate has not blinked an eye on the value of American leadership and strength.”

The Ukrainian president also said he was “grateful” to senators for passing it.

The vote came after a late-night Senate session in which several Republicans gave speeches criticizing the measure.

The relief package is a scaled-down version of a $118 billion package that Senate Republicans rejected last week.

The Republicans had initially called for any foreign aid to be tied to more security measures on the southern border.

But after Mr. Trump spoke out against the measure, Republicans were divided over the package.

Some lawmakers suggested reinstating border security measures into the current version of the legislation.

Mr Johnson indicated in a statement on Monday evening that the new bill would not be passed by the House of Representatives without such provisions.

“House Republicans have been clear from the outset that any so-called supplemental national security legislation must recognize that national security begins at our own border,” he said.

This is a developing story. More updates to follow.

Source: www.bbc.com

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