Controversial Aid Bill Passed, Sending $95B to Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel

( – The Senate has passed an international aid bill, voting 70-29 to allocate $95 billion to aid for Ukraine, Israel, and allies in the Indo-Pacific, including Taiwan, in a particularly drawn-out progression that ended on Tuesday morning, February 13th.

The bill’s passage through the Senate was not easy, with several Republicans working to filibuster it over the weekend, despite 22 of their GOP colleagues voting in favor. Many Republicans, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, have stated their opposition to the bill as it completely lacks any provision to deal with the US southern border crisis. Despite this, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, claimed that the bill would hugely impact the security of the US, its allies, and even Western democracy. Schumer has called for Johnson to schedule a House vote on the bill as quickly as possible so that it may be voted through both chambers.

While Johnson has suggested that he has no interest in scheduling a vote in the immediate future, Democrats have floated the suggestion of using a method known as a “discharge petition,” in which a petition containing signatures from over half the House may be used to force a vote. This method has not been successfully employed since 2015.

The bill comes after many months of debate over how best to allocate funding for US security, with a recent bipartisan package that includes overseas aid as well as funding for the US-Mexico border being voted down after being criticized by Donald Trump and many other Republicans. The notion of sending further funding to overseas allies, particularly Ukraine, has become somewhat controversial, with Republicans blocking any major funding from being passed in the House since taking control in January 2023.

This bill would see $60 billion of funding earmarked for the beleaguered country, with about $20 billion used to pay for armaments and ammunition provided by the US. Just over $14 billion will support Israel in its fight against Hamas, and over $9 billion to provide humanitarian aid to civilians in war zones, including those in Gaza. Also allocated is $8 billion to be used in bolstering allies in the Indo-Pacific region facing aggression from China.

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