Senate Passes Foreign Aid Bill for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan

On Tuesday, the United States Senate passed a $95 billion foreign aid package to at least three different countries, sending the bill to Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.

As The Hill reports, the bill passed with overwhelming support, with 79 Senators voting in favor and just 18 voting against it; 15 of the opposing votes were cast by Republicans, two were Democrats, and one was cast by an independent.

Most prominently, the bill will spend $47.7 billion via the Department of Defense on training, equipment, weapons, and other forms of military support to Ukraine as it continues its war against Russia, with another $13.4 billion to replenish American equipment that has already been sent to Ukraine. Another $20.5 billion will be spent on American Armed Forces support throughout Europe. Lastly, an additional $9.5 billion will be spent on economic aid to Ukraine, and will be structured as a forgivable loan.

The bill will also send $15 billion in military aid to Israel amidst the ongoing war with the Islamic terrorist group Hamas, while also sending $9 billion to the Hamas-supporting Palestinian population in Gaza, thus essentially funding both sides of the war at once.

Lastly, another $8 billion will be spent on aid to the Indo-Pacific, including Taiwan, to try to deter Chinese expansion and aggression in the region.

Both Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) celebrated the passage of the bill, despite overwhelming opposition from the American public to endless foreign aid.

“Today the Senate sends a unified message to the entire world,” Schumer said from the floor of the Senate. “America will always defend democracy in its hour of need. We tell our allies we will stand with you. We tell our adversaries don’t mess with us.”

Schumer also praised McConnell for withstanding “a lot of negative comments in his own party and within his own caucus,” saying “he knew the right thing to do and stuck with it.”

McConnell similarly criticized Republicans who were against more foreign aid, claiming that “so much of the hesitation and shortsightedness that has delayed this moment is premised on sheer fiction.” McConnell bizarrely attempted to connect Ukraine aid to “unchecked terrorist violence” in the Middle East, saying that a delay on the former would lead to an increase in the latter, despite them being two completely different areas of the world. He also claimed that “China will benefit from Russian advances.”

“Make no mistake: delay in providing Ukraine the weapons to defend itself has strained the prospects of defeating Russian aggression,” McConnell continued. “Dithering and hesitation has compounded the challenges we face.”

The 15 Republican senators who voted in opposition to the bill are: John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and J.D. Vance (R-Ohio).

The two Democrats who voted against the bill were Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.). Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also voted against the package. Both Welch and Sanders said that the only reason they voted against the bill was because of the aid provided to Israel, which both senators oppose.

The effort against the foreign aid was spearheaded by Senator Vance, who wrote an op-ed in the New York Times explaining the many reasons for his opposition to the bill, some of which he reiterated on the Senate floor. Among other reasons, Vance pointed out that continued American aid to Ukraine will not turn the tide of the war; he also said that such aggressive foreign aid will hinder the next president’s capabilities when it comes to attempting a diplomatic solution to end the conflict.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 12: Walking with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrives at the U.S. Capitol to meet with Congressional leadership on December 12, 2023 in Washington, DC. President Zelensky is meeting with President Biden and Congressional leaders to make an in-person case for continuing military aid as the country runs out of money for their war against Russia. The meetings come days after the Senate failed to advance President Biden's national security package that included aid to Ukraine. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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