In a recent announcement, the U.S. Senate revealed a bipartisan aid proposal amounting to $118.2 billion for Ukraine, Israel, and U.S. border security, following a period of confidential discussions.
What Happened: The specifics of the aid package were disclosed by Senators on Sunday, as noted in a CNBC report. The proposed bill allocates $60.1 billion for Ukraine, $14.1 billion for Israel, and $20.2 billion for strengthening security at the U.S. border. Additional funding has been set aside for humanitarian assistance in conflict-stricken regions and defense operations in the Red Sea and Taiwan.
The proposal is almost parallel to President Joe Biden‘s original $105 billion aid package proposed in October, especially in terms of the funding proportions for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. The new package, however, includes an additional $13 billion for border security.
“I urge Congress to come together and swiftly pass this bipartisan agreement. Get it to my desk so I can sign it into law immediately,” Biden said.
President Biden voiced his backing for the Senate’s bipartisan proposal on Sunday, urging Congress to expedite the passage of the agreement. A vote on the bill is set for Wednesday, as stated by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
“I know the overwhelming majority of Senators want to get this done, and it will take bipartisan cooperation to move quickly,” Schumer said in a statement following the proposal’s release.
Despite this, the bipartisan aid measure is likely to encounter resistance from House Republicans, who are gearing up to challenge the Senate bill. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) declared a House proposal that would solely finance Israel, with a vote on the bill slated for next week.
Regardless of the looming political showdown, Senate negotiators regard the publication of the bill as a triumph after months of negotiations.
Why It Matters: The aid package comes in the wake of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine seeking financial aid amidst conflict with Russia. Simultaneously, U.S. intervention in Taiwan could be triggered by actions less severe than a full invasion.
On the home front, President Biden has pledged to ‘shut down’ the border upon the Senate deal’s approval, marking a significant pivot in the administration’s immigration strategy. Meanwhile, Israel, embroiled in a conflict with Hamas, had raised significant funds through a Crypto Aid initiative.
With the U.S. being a principal financial backer for Ukraine during its ongoing conflict with Russia, a failure to approve the additional aid could have significant future implications for U.S. international accountability, as emphasized by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
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