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House Set to Vote on Foreign Aid Bills for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

House Set to Vote on Foreign Aid Bills for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

Politics|House Approves $95 Billion Aid Bill for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/04/20/us/politics/ukraine-aid-bill-gaza-johnson.html

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After months of delay at the hands of a bloc of ultraconservative Republicans, the package drew overwhelming bipartisan support, reflecting broad consensus.

The House voted resoundingly on Saturday to approve $95 billion in foreign aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, as Speaker Mike Johnson put his job on the line to advance the long-stalled aid package by marshaling support from mainstream Republicans and Democrats.

In four back-to-back votes, overwhelming bipartisan coalitions of lawmakers approved fresh rounds of funding for the three U.S. allies, as well as another bill meant to sweeten the deal for conservatives that could result in a nationwide ban of TikTok.

The scene on the House floor reflected both the broad support in Congress for continuing to help the Ukrainian military beat back Russia, and the extraordinary political risk taken by Mr. Johnson to defy the anti-interventionist wing of his party who had sought to thwart the measure. Minutes before the vote on assistance for Kyiv, Democrats began to wave small Ukrainian flags on the House floor, as hard-right Republicans jeered.

The legislation includes $60 billion for Kyiv; $26 billion for Israel and humanitarian aid for civilians in conflict zones, including Gaza; and $8 billion for the Indo-Pacific region. It would direct the president to seek repayment from the Ukrainian government of $10 billion in economic assistance, a concept supported by former President Donald J. Trump, who had pushed for any aid to Kyiv to be in the form of a loan. But it also would allow the president to forgive those loans starting in 2026.

It also contained a measure to help pave the way to selling off frozen Russian sovereign assets to help fund the Ukrainian war effort, and a new round of sanctions on Iran. The Senate is expected to pass the legislation as early as Tuesday and send it to President Biden’s desk, capping its tortured journey through Congress.

“Our adversaries are working together to undermine our Western values and demean our democracy,” Representative Michael McCaul, Republican of Texas and the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said Saturday as the House debated the measure. “We cannot be afraid at this moment. We have to do what’s right. Evil is on the march. History is calling and now is the time to act.”


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