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U.S. Senate Passes $95.3 Billion Foreign Aid Package Helping Ukraine and Israel

Emma Sulaiman, Staff Writer

Photo//Shutterstock, Andrea Izzotti

On February 13, 2024, the U.S. Senate passed a bill agreeing to send a $95 billion package to foreign countries, including Israel and Ukraine. The bill passed with the help of 22 republican votes. Those who voted against the bill were Democratic Senators, Jeff Merkley and Peter Welch and Independent Senator, Bernie Sanders. 

From this package, $60 billion is dedicated to Ukraine to aid them as it defends itself against Russia; However, many republicans were opposed to further helping Ukraine. $14.1 billion was given to Israel as security assistance and to support military operations. The remaining money is being split into humanitarian aid for Gaza and aid to Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region. 

Senator Mitchell McConnell, a senate minority leader, stated that this package will be recorded in history and will show that the U.S. “did not blink” to send aid to their allies. 

The decision of whether this aid should be sent started back in October. President Biden initially wanted to send $105 billion to Ukraine, and then to Israel after the conflict between Palestine and Israel escalated.

The issue was that the government claimed to be “out of money” and almost “out of time.” Former President Trump opposed Biden, stating that “WE SHOULD NEVER GIVE MONEY ANYMORE WITHOUT THE HOPE OF A PAYBACK, OR WITHOUT ‘STRINGS’ ATTACHED. THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA SHOULD BE ‘STUPID’ NO LONGER!” in response to the bill. 

A third of the money sent to Ukraine is supposedly going to be used to replenish the U.S. military equipment that will be sent to Kyiv. Also, about $480 million will be used to aid Ukrainians affected by the war.

Although the Senate passed the bill, it still faces some conflict in the House. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the U.S. would be giving an “enormous gift to Vladimir Putin” if they do not pass the bill. He argues that this is a moment where the U.S. can show that they stand for their values and do the right thing. He stated that the responsibility now lies in the hands of Speaker Johnson and House Republicans to approve the bill.

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