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US Senate advances Ukraine aid bill as Pentagon set to send $ 1 bn package once bill clears Senate and Biden

The US Senate advanced a $95 billion foreign aid bill including $60+ billion for Ukraine, setting up a final vote, as the Pentagon prepares $1 billion military aid package for Ukraine, pending the passage and enactment of the legislation.
Congress of the United States.
The Congress of the United States. Photo: president.gov.ua
US Senate advances Ukraine aid bill as Pentagon set to send $ 1 bn package once bill clears Senate and Biden

On 23 April, the US Senate voted to clear the last procedural hurdle before the final vote on the $95 billion foreign aid package, which includes $60+ billion for Ukraine. NBC says the final vote on the bill could come as soon as 23 April evening (which spans into the early hours of the next day in Kyiv), while Reuters states that a final Senate vote is slated for as soon as 23 or 24.

Last fall, US President Joe Biden requested $95 billion in foreign aid, including $60.8 billion in aid for Ukraine, from Congress, but the proposal was stalled by Congressional Republicans for over six months. This delay significantly weakened Ukraine’s defensive capabilities in the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war. Consequently, Russia gained an advantage on the battlefield, capturing some territory, including the city of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast. In February, the Senate approved a $95 billion bill, but the House delayed the vote for two more months and eventually adopted its version of the legislation on 20 April, which prompted the new Senate vote.

The Senators have voted 80-19 to advance the House-approved package, which includes billions of dollars in aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, and a provision that could lead to a nationwide ban on Chinese short-form video hosting TikTok in the US.

The Senate vote exceeding the 60 votes needed shows that the legislature can easily pass a final vote and head to US President Joe Biden to be signed into law. AP says that 30 Republicans out of 49 and all but two Democrats voted to advance the bill. The Democrats have a majority in the Senate, with 51 seats, including three independent Senators.

Earlier, Biden promised to sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk, as per Reuters.

Media: US prepares $1 billion aid package once bill approved

CNN reports that the Biden administration is preparing a new aid package for Ukraine, expected to be worth around $1 billion. According to multiple anonymous sources familiar with the matter, President Joe Biden is likely to approve this Package following the Senate’s passage of the new foreign aid funding bill.

According to CNN, administration officials have informed Congress in recent briefings that the new aid package for Ukraine will likely include long-range ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile Systems) for the first time, as stated by three sources.

AP sources said the Pentagon is poised to send a variety of munitions such as air defense ammunition and large quantities of artillery rounds, which are highly sought by Ukrainian forces, as well as armored vehicles and other weapons. US officials told the AP, on condition of anonymity, that some of these weapons will reach the battlefront within days, although other items may take longer to be delivered. The aid has not yet been publicly announced.

Two officials told Reuters that the $1 billion military aid package for Ukraine includes vehicles, Stinger air defense munitions, additional ammunition for high-mobility artillery rocket systems, 155-millimeter artillery ammunition, TOW and Javelin anti-tank munitions, and other immediately deployable weapons. This package is the first to be funded by the yet-to-be-signed Ukraine-Israel-Taiwan aid bill, the officials stated, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Earlier CNN reported that much of the US military aid for Ukraine is already pre-positioned in storage facilities in Germany and Poland, which will expedite its delivery into Ukraine once the new law is enacted.

Read the follow-up:

US Senate advances Ukraine aid bill as Pentagon set to send $ 1 bn package once bill clears Senate and Biden

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