Sun, 19 May 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

US House approves aid package worth billions for Ukraine, Israel

Update : 21 Apr 2024, 10:41

The United States House of Representatives with broad bipartisan support has passed a $95bn legislative package providing security assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, despite bitter objections from Republican hardliners.

The legislation proceeded on Saturday to the Democratic-majority Senate, which passed a similar measure more than two months ago. 

US leaders from Democratic President Joe Biden to top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell had been urging embattled Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson to bring it up for a vote.

The Senate is expected to pass the measure next week, sending it to Biden to sign into law.

The bills provide about $61bn to address the conflict in Ukraine, including $23bn to replenish US weapons, stocks and facilities; $26bn for Israel, including $9bn for humanitarian needs; and $8bn for the Asia Pacific, including Taiwan. 

Zelenskyy thanks the House

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his thanks, saying US lawmakers moved to keep “history on the right track” by supporting his country after it was invaded by Russia.

“The vital US aid bill passed today by the House will keep the war from expanding, save thousands and thousands of lives, and help both of our nations to become stronger,” Zelenskyy said on X. 

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, meanwhile, said the new US legislation would “deepen crisis throughout the world”.

“Military assistance to the [Kyiv] regime is a direct sponsorship of terrorist activities,” Zakharova said on Telegram.

It was unclear how quickly the new military funding for Ukraine will be depleted, likely leading to calls for further action by Congress.

Biden, who had urged Congress since last year to approve the additional aid to Ukraine, said in a statement: “It comes at a moment of grave urgency, with Israel facing unprecedented attacks from Iran and Ukraine under continued bombardment from Russia.” 

“It is very notable that 112 Republicans voted ‘no’ for different reasons,” she said.

“Some believe the European Union should do more to help Ukraine, while some others said the money should be spent at home and Ukraine has no accountability on how it spends the funds.

“This package passed, but it calls into question what might happen next if Ukraine needs more funds in the future,” our correspondent added.

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