Senate Advances Aid for Ukraine and Israel With Increased GOP Support

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) talks to reporters as he walks to his office at the U.S. Capitol on February 07, 2024 in Washington, DC. In the immediate wake of the failed bipartisan border security and foreign aid legislation, Schumer said he will put up a supplemental spending bill for aid to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan up for a vote later on Wednesday.

In an unexpected turn of events on Super Bowl Sunday, the Senate made a significant decision by voting to advance an aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and other important US allies. This vote marks a crucial milestone, especially with the support of 18 GOP lawmakers. 

The package would allocate $60 billion for Ukraine, primarily for the purpose of acquiring defense equipment manufactured in the US.

This includes munitions and air defense systems that are deemed crucial in light of the ongoing aggression from Russia. It includes a substantial amount of funding for the government in Kyiv and additional assistance.

Additionally, there is a proposed allocation of $14 billion for Israel’s conflict with Hamas, $8 billion for Taiwan and its allies in the Indo-Pacific region to address concerns regarding China, and $9.2 billion in humanitarian aid for Gaza.

Senate leaders emphasized the importance of the funds in countering the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin and upholding America’s position on the global stage.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, and Republican leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky expressed concerns about the potential repercussions of abandoning long standing American allies in Europe.

According to McConnell’s opening remarks, the importance of American leadership is being called into doubt. Schumer expressed concern about the potential success of Putin’s actions if America does not provide assistance to Ukraine. 

The 67-27 test vote Sunday on the $95.3 billion foreign aid package coincides with former President Trump’s efforts to eliminate the assistance and his intensified criticism of the NATO military alliance.

Trump Calls for Consequences on NATO Spending; GOP Split on Ukraine Aid

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 11: Ukraine sympathizers fly a Ukrainian flag outside as the Senate works through the weekend on a $95.3 billion foreign aid bill with assistance for Ukraine and Israel at the U.S. Capitol on February 11, 2024 in Washington, DC. The bill includes $60 billion to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia, $14.1 billion in security assistance for Israel, $9.2 billion in humanitarian assistance and $4.8 billion to support regional partners in the Indo-Pacific region, among other provisions, according to the Senate Appropriations Committee.


During a campaign rally in South Carolina, Trump expressed his belief that NATO members who fail to meet their defense spending targets should face consequences from Russia. 

Although McConnell has prioritized Ukraine as a significant matter, a growing number of members within his GOP conference have aligned with Trump in their opposition to the aid. 

The Senate is moving forward with several procedural votes on the slimmed-down package following the failure to combine it with legislation addressing migration at the US border.

Objections from Republicans who strongly oppose the aid have caused delays in taking swift action, resulting in the need for weekend votes while negotiations continue regarding potential amendments to the legislation.

Schumer has expressed his willingness to consider amendments, although many of them are expected to be unsuccessful. However, he has made the decision to keep senators in session over the weekend in order to expedite the process.

Last week, a significant vote took place where 17 Republican senators decided to initiate discussions on the bill, while 31 senators voted against it. This outcome has given McConnell and other Republican supporters of the aid a renewed sense of optimism regarding its potential passage.

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