On Sunday, the U.S. Senate passed yet another bill to provide billions in aid to Ukraine and Israel, despite efforts by conservative and anti-interventionist Republicans to block the measure.
As The Hill reports, the $95.3 billion package provides funding to Ukraine and Israel, both of which are currently involved in war after each was invaded by Russia and the Islamic terror group Hamas, respectively. The measure passed by a vote of 67 to 27.
The bill includes $60 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel, $9 billion for aid relief in Gaza, and another $4.8 billion for allied nations in the Indo-Pacific region. Previous measures including border security for America’s southern border were removed from the bill after widespread backlash by a more unified Republican Party last week.
“As we speak, [Russian President Vladimir Putin’s] invasion of Ukraine has rendered parts of Eastern Europe a war zone the likes of which we have not seen in those regions since the Second World War,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on the floor of the Senate. “Ukraine is dangerously low on supplies, including ammo and air defenses. If America doesn’t assist Ukraine, Putin is all too likely to succeed.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also voiced his support for the bill, claiming that not passing it would lead to greater national security threats from the likes of China, which he said would be given a “green light” to commit further aggression in the Pacific.
“Our partners don’t have the luxury of pretending that the world’s most dangerous aggressors are someone else’s problem. And neither do we,” said McConnell. “It is not an exaggeration to say that the eyes of the world are on the United States Senate.”
The Senate was supposed to begin a two-week recess, but conservative Senators led by Rand Paul (R-Ky.) refused to allow for speedy votes due to their objections to the aid package. Paul denounced his colleague McConnell’s support for it as “outrageous,” and at the same time accused McConnell, Schumer, and Biden of “criminal neglect” due to their efforts to “send $100 billion overseas to fix someone else’s border before addressing our border.” Other Senators who spoke out against the bill include Mike Lee (R-Utah) and J.D. Vance (R-Ohio).
The bill’s advancement comes after Republicans ultimately shot down a controversial border bill that had been negotiated by Democrats and a handful of moderate Republicans, including Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.), which would ultimately have expanded visa access to illegals and would raise the daily cap for the number of illegal aliens crossing the border before it could be declared an emergency.