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US Senate overwhelmingly approves Ukraine aid, Biden says he will sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk (updated)

The US Senate has approved a $95 billion foreign aid package, including $60+ billion for Ukraine, with President Joe Biden promising to sign the bill as soon as it reaches him.
The United States Capitol Building, home to the bicameral US Congress, consisting of the lower body, the House of Representatives, and the upper body, the Senate. Photo: Flickr/Don Sniegowski
US Senate overwhelmingly approves Ukraine aid, Biden says he will sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk (updated)

The US Senate has approved a $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, sending the legislation to President Joe Biden, concluding a half-year-long saga of delaying the aid by Congressional Republicans.

Last fall, President Joe Biden requested $95 billion in foreign aid, including $60.8 billion for Ukraine, but Congressional Republicans stalled the proposal for six months. This delay weakened Ukraine’s defenses in the war with Russia, allowing Russia to capture territory and increase aerial attacks.

AP reports that the bill, which allocates $95 billion in war aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, passed the Senate with a decisive 79-18 vote late on 23 April (early morning of 24 April in Kyiv), following House approval on 20 April.

In this vote, 31 Republicans joined 48 Democrats to pass the legislation, an increase of nine Republicans from when the Senate last considered the aid package in February, ABC NEWS noted. Two Democrats, Senators Merkley and Welch, along with Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, voted against the legislation, joining 15 Republicans in opposition.

In an interview with AP just before the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, stated,

“If Congress hadn’t passed the aid, America would have paid a price economically, politically, militarily,” he said, adding, “Very few things we have done have risen to this level of historic importance.”

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

Biden to sign the bill into law

US President Biden announced in a statement immediately after the bill’s passage that he would sign it on 24 April “as soon as it reaches my desk” and initiate the process of dispatching weapons to Ukraine “this week.”

Tonight, a bipartisan majority in the Senate joined the House to answer history’s call at this critical inflection point,” Biden said in the statement. “Congress has passed my legislation to strengthen our national security and send a message to the world about the power of American leadership: we stand resolutely for democracy and freedom, and against tyranny and oppression.”

Biden says that the need for the approved aid is urgent: “for Ukraine, facing unrelenting bombardment from Russia; for Israel, which just faced unprecedented attacks from Iran; for refugees and those impacted by conflicts and natural disasters around the world, including in Gaza, Sudan, and Haiti; and for our partners seeking security and stability in the Indo-Pacific.”

US to send military aid

CNN reported that the Biden administration was preparing a $1 billion aid package for Ukraine, anticipated to include long-range ATACMS missiles for the first time, as multiple anonymous sources indicated.

AP sources revealed that the Pentagon plans to quickly dispatch a range of munitions, including air defense ammunition and artillery rounds, alongside armored vehicles and other weapons. Some items will reach the Ukrainian front quickly, while others may take longer.

Additionally, Reuters sources stated that this package, which also features vehicles, Stinger air defense munitions, and TOW and Javelin anti-tank munitions, marks the first funded by the pending Ukraine-Israel-Taiwan aid bill.

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.

Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder stated that once Congress approves the military aid package, the United States Department of Defense is prepared to rapidly send necessary military assistance to Ukraine, including air defense and artillery capabilities, utilizing their robust logistics network to move material within days.

Follow-up:

Biden signs $95 billion war aid measure with aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan

Read also:

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