US Senate passes $95bn package of aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

US Senate passes $95bn package of aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan
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The US Senate has approved a long-awaited $95bn (£75.2bn) aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan after months of political wrangling.

While Democrats were in favour of passing the bill, Republicans were divided and previously voted it down.

The package includes $60bn for Kyiv, $14bn for Israel’s war against Hamas and $10bn for humanitarian aid in conflict zones, including in Gaza.

Lawmakers voted 70 to 29 to approve the package.

The bill will now go to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where its fate remains uncertain.

The measure passed the Senate despite criticism from Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson and former President Donald Trump.

In the end, 22 Republicans voted for the legislation, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“History settles every account,” Mr McConnell said in a statement following the vote. “And today, on the value of American leadership and strength, history will record that the Senate did not blink.”

Ukraine’s president also said he was “grateful” to senators for passing it.

The vote came after an all-night Senate session during which several Republicans made speeches criticising the measure.

The aid package is a stripped down version of a $118bn package that Senate Republicans voted down last week.

Republicans had initially demanded that any foreign aid be tied to more security measures at the southern border.

But after Mr Trump came out against the measure, Republicans were divided on the package.

Some lawmakers suggested that border security measures could be added back into the current version of the legislation.

Mr Johnson suggested in a statement on Monday night that the new bill would not pass the House without such provisions.

“House Republicans were crystal clear from the very beginning of discussions that any so-called national security supplemental legislation must recognise that national security begins at our own border,” he said.

This is a developing story. More updates to follow.


By David Ryckman