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US Senate Republicans block $110 billion Ukraine and Israel aid bill

US Senate Republicans vote against a $110 billion aid bill for Ukraine and Israel, insisting on immigration reforms, raising questions about aid’s future, with Biden urging action to counter Putin’s agenda.
Congress of the United States.
The Congress of the United States. Photo: president.gov.ua

On 6 December, the US Senate faced a setback in initiating discussions on President Joe Biden’s national security package, with Republicans opposing the bill and demanding immigration limits as a condition for their support, resulting in a close 49-51 vote, according to NBC.

60 votes were needed for approving the $110 billion package including $61 billion designated for Ukraine, alongside allocations for Israel and Gaza’s humanitarian aid. Earlier, the White House cautioned that US financial support for Ukraine may be depleted soon.

The unsuccessful vote leaves the fate of US aid to Ukraine and Israel uncertain in Congress, despite President Biden’s urgent plea for approving it to stop Russia from conquering Ukraine.

“This cannot wait,” Biden said, adding that “Republicans in Congress are willing to give Putin the greatest gift he could hope for.”

Biden: “Failure to support Ukraine is just absolutely crazy”

“This cannot wait. … We cannot let [Russian President] Putin win,” Biden said, accusing “extreme” Republicans of “playing chicken” with the package by demanding “partisan” border policies. “Do they really want a solution?” he asked. “I am willing to make significant compromises on the border.”

NBC notes that Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont who caucuses with the Democrats, also stood in opposition, emphasizing that he would not support unconditional aid to Israel unless Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government altered its practices, which he deemed “immoral” and “in violation of international law.”

On the same day, the Biden administration announced $175 million in new security assistance for Ukraine, using already approved funds. This aid includes ammunition, missiles, artillery shells, and equipment to protect critical infrastructure, per the US Department of Defense.

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