Washington, MINA – The US Senate voted late Friday to push a $95.3 billion funding package for Ukraine and Israel closer to passage, Anadolu Agency reports.
Senators voted 64 – 19 in a bipartisan effort to move forward with the bill, which would provide $60 billion in defense aid for Ukraine in the war against Russia, $14 billion in defense for Israel in the war versus Hamas, $9 billion for humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza, the West Bank and Ukraine, and $4.8 billion to support allies in the Indo-Pacific, according to multiple media outlets.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the vote “keeps the process of passing the emergency national security package moving forward on the Senate floor.”
His counterpart, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, urged fellow Republicans to advance the legislation to “provide for the common defense and equip the next commander-in-chief with the tools to exercise American strength.”
Some Senate Republicans are trying to add border security provisions to the funding bill that Schumer stripped from the package when it had to be reduced from its original proposal of $118 billion.
“How can you be helping Ukraine with their invasion but not be helping America with its invasion?” said Sen. Marco Rubio, who voted against advancing the bill, arguing that it failed to address the “invasion” of millions of migrants at the US-Mexico border.
Sen. Mike Lee said it was “almost impossible to conceive” that sending humanitarian aid to Gaza would not benefit the Palestinian resistance group, Hamas.
At least one amendment to the bill needs to be hashed out before the full Senate votes on the package.
If the measure clears the Senate, the Republican-led House of Representatives would then decide whether to introduce the bill to a full House vote for approval. (T/RE1/P2)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)