Tuesday 13 February 2024

Senate Passes $95 Billion Foreign Aid Bill Despite Opposition From Over Half Of Republican Senators

 The Senate passed a $95 billion foreign aid bill early Tuesday morning that allocates money for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. The bill passed on a 70-29 vote, with over half of Senate Republicans voting against the measure. 

The aid package allocates $61 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel, $4.83 billion to U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific, and over $9 billion in global humanitarian aid. The bill passed with support from nearly all Democrats and 22 Republicans.

“It’s certainly 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 the security of western democracy,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, according to Reuters. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY) also pushed the bill forward. 

“The Senate understands the responsibilities of America’s national security and will not neglect them,” McConnell said after the vote. “History settles every account. And today, on the value of American leadership and strength, history will record that the Senate did not blink.”

Sens. John Boozman (R-AR), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Cornyn (R-TX), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Hoeven (R-ND), John Kennedy (R-LA), McConnell (R-KY), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), James Risch (R-ID), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), John Thune (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Todd Young (R-IN) joined Democrats in passing the measure. 

The bill was opposed by conservative senators who have pushed for funding to prioritize the border crisis and the influx of illegal immigrants into the United States. 

“Americans are going to hold people accountable that chose to move on from border security and fund foreign nations before we took care of our own homes,” Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) said during debate on the bill.


“This morning the America last caucus got a $61 billion aid package out of the Senate. But they paid dearly for this small win. The House won’t pass the current bill. We must fix our country before devoting more resources to Ukraine. That’s our message, and the fight goes on,” Sen. J.D. Vance said

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) criticized McConnell for backing the aid package. 

“Most Senate Republicans vote no. McConnell of course votes with the Democrats. He is Biden’s chief foreign policy supporter these days. That position is an island — and the gulf between it & the rest of America is only getting wider,” he said. 

“Nearly every Republican senator under the age of 55 voted NO on this America Last bill. 15 out of 17 elected since 2018 voted NO. Things are changing just  not fast enough,” Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-MO) said. 

The foreign aid package followed up an attempt to pair it with some border security measures earlier this month in a proposal negotiated between Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) and top Democrats. That measure failed after conservative senators said that the bill would do nothing to stop the flood of people illegally crossing the border.

House Speaker Mike Johnson has been critical of the Senate’s foreign aid bill, saying on Monday that it was “silent on the most pressing issues facing our country.”

“The mandate of national security supplemental legislation was to secure America’s own border before sending sending additional foreign aid around the world,” Johnson said.

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