US House okays aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

Published April 21, 2024
Lawmakers walk past pro-Palestinian protesters prior to a US House of Representatives vote on legislation providing $95 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, at Capitol Hill in Washington, US on April 20. — Reuters
Lawmakers walk past pro-Palestinian protesters prior to a US House of Representatives vote on legislation providing $95 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, at Capitol Hill in Washington, US on April 20. — Reuters

WASHINGTON: The US House of Represe­ntatives on Saturday with broad bipartisan support passed a $95 billion legislative package providing security assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, over bitter objections from Republican hardliners.

The legislation now proceeds 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 have 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 measure includes some $60.84bn for Ukraine as it struggles to fight off Russian invasion. The unusual four-bill package also includes funds for Israel, security assistance for Taiwan.

“The world is watching what the Congress does,” the White House said in a statement on Friday. “Passing this legislation would send a powerful message about the strength of American leadership at a pivotal moment. The administration urges both chambers of the Congress to quickly send this supplemental funding package to the president’s desk.”

Some hardline Republicans have voiced strong opposition to further Ukraine aid, with some arguing the US can ill afford it given its rising $34 trillion national debt.

“It’s not the perfect legislation, it’s not the legislation that we would write if Republicans were in charge of both the House, the Senate, and the White House,” Johnson told reporters on Friday.

Representative Bob Good, chair of the hardline House Freedom Caucus, told reporters on Friday that the bills represent a “slide down into the abyss of greater fiscal crisis”.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2024

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