WASHINGTON (NEWSnet/AP) — The Senate early Tuesday passed a $95.3 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, after a rare overnight session at the Capitol.

Senate leaders had pushed for a resolution after months of difficult negotiations and amid growing political divisions in the Republican Party over the role of the United States abroad.

 

Money provided by the legislation would purchase U.S.-made defense equipment, including munitions and air defense systems that authorities say are desperately needed as Russia batters the country. It also includes $8 billion for the government in Kyiv and other assistance.

In addition, the legislation would provide $14 billion for Israel’s war with Hamas, $8 billion for Taiwan and partners in the Indo-Pacific to counter China, and $9.2 billion in humanitarian assistance for Gaza.

The vote came after a small group of Republicans opposed to the $60 billion for Ukraine held the Senate floor through the night, using the final hours of debate to argue that the U.S. should focus on its own problems before sending more money overseas.

But more than a dozen Republicans voted with almost all Democrats to pass the package 70-29, with supporters arguing that abandoning Ukraine could embolden Russian President Vladimir Putin and threaten national security across the globe.

 

“It’s been years, perhaps decades, since the Senate has passed a bill that so greatly impacts not just our national security, not just the security of our allies, but also the security of western democracy,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who worked closely with Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on the legislation.

That being said: the package faces a deeply uncertain future in the House, where hardline Republicans aligned with former President Donald Trump oppose the legislation.

Speaker Mike Johnson cast new doubt on the package in a statement Monday evening, making clear that it could be weeks or months before Congress sends the legislation to President Joe Biden's desk — if at all.

 

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