Senate passes $95 billion foreign aid bill; Speaker says chances in the House are slim

While the bill passed 70-29 with Republican backing, it will have a tougher time getting out of the House of Representatives.

The U.S. Senate early Tuesday passed a $95 billion aid package that would send money to shore up the war efforts in Ukraine, fund actions in Israel’s battle with Hamas and aid in the defense of Taiwan, The Associated Press reported.

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While the bill passed 70-29 with Republican backing, it will have a tougher time getting out of the House of Representatives, according to the House speaker.

Mike Johnson, R-La., on Monday said the bill would not see Republican support in that chamber because it failed to include provisions for U.S. border security.

“Instead, the Senate’s foreign aid bill is silent on the most pressing issue facing our country,” Johnson said in a statement, adding that: “The House will have to continue to work its own will on these important matters.”

President Joe Biden encouraged legislators in both the Senate and the House to pass the aid bill, saying the U.S. must uphold its international obligations to maintain security at home.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urged his colleagues to get the legislation passed as the vote on the bill continued overnight.

“By now, we have taken numerous procedural votes that prove beyond doubt that there’s strong support behind this bill. It’s time to finish the job and get this critical bill passed. If we want the world to remain a safe place for freedom, for democratic principles, for American prosperity, then elected leaders need to put in the work to make that happen,” Schumer said.

Some Republican opponents argue that America doesn’t have the resources to keep supporting Ukraine — or that Russian President Vladimir Putin would prevail anyway, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., called the bill “the middle finger to every working man and woman in America.”

According to Paul, the bill tells Americans, “We don’t care about you. We care more about Ukraine than we care about our southern border.”

The package includes a provision for $61 billion in aid for Ukraine.

“If you’re concerned about the Ukrainian people, you ought to do everything you can to bring this war to an end,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who opposed the bill. “Again, that’s not to say I’m supporting Putin. He’s an evil war criminal. But he will not lose, he’s not going to lose. And at some point in time, people here need to recognize that reality.”

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, according to the AP.

It provides $2.4 billion to support U.S. operations in response to attacks by the Houthis on global shipping operations in the Red Sea, the Journal reported.

In addition, it includes separate sanctions and anti-money-laundering measures that will go after groups bringing fentanyl into the United States.

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