$95-B funding package for Ukraine, Israel nears US Senate passage

February 10, 2024, 5:40 pm

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

HOUSTON –The US Senate voted late Friday to push a USD95.3 billion funding package for Ukraine and Israel closer to passage.

Senators voted 64-19 in a bipartisan effort to move forward with the bill, which would provide USD60 billion in defense aid for Ukraine in the war against Russia, USD14 billion in defense for Israel in the war against Hamas.

The funding also includes USD9 billion for humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza, the West Bank and Ukraine, and USD4.8 billion to support allies in the Indo-Pacific, media reports said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the vote “keeps the process of passing the emergency national security package moving forward on the Senate floor."

His counterpart, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, urged fellow Republicans to advance the legislation to “provide for the common defense and equip the next commander-in-chief with the tools to exercise American strength.”

Some Senate Republicans are trying to add border security provisions to the funding bill that Schumer stripped from the package when it had to be reduced from its original proposal of USD118 billion.

At least one amendment to the bill needs to be hashed out before the full Senate votes on the package.

Should the measure clear the Senate, the Republican-led House of Representatives would decide whether to introduce the bill to a full House vote for approval. (Anabolu)