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US Senate Passes $95.3 Billion Aid Package For Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

Supporters argued that abandoning Ukraine could embolden President Putin and threaten national security across the globe.

In this image from video, the vote total of 50-49 on Senate passage of the COVID-19 relief bill, is displayed on screen in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Senate Television via AP)

The Democratic-led Senate has on Tuesday, passed a $95.3 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, after months of difficult negotiations and amid growing political divisions in the Republican Party over the role of the United States abroad.

The vote followed a nightlong Senate floor occupation by a tiny number of Republicans opposed to the $60 billion for Ukraine. During the last hours of the session, they used their platform to argue that the United States ought to address its domestic issues before sending more money abroad.

To adopt the deal, 70-29, however, more than a dozen Republicans voted with nearly all Democrats, with supporters claiming that abandoning Ukraine may give Russian President Vladimir Putin more confidence and threaten international security.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who worked closely with Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on the legislation said “It’s been years, perhaps decades, since the Senate has passed a bill that so greatly impacts not just our national security, not just the security of our allies, but also the security of western democracy,”

The bill’s passage through the Senate was a welcome sign for Ukraine amidst critical shortages on the battlefield.

The final vote gained 22 Republicans supporting its passage, while two Democrats, Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Peter Welch of Vermont, as well as Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent, voted against it.

Chioma Kalu

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