Aid to Ukraine takes step forward in US Senate |  International

Aid to Ukraine takes step forward in US Senate | International

Aid to Ukraine takes step forward in US Senate |  International

Hopes that the United States will eventually renew its aid to Ukraine remain alive. The US Senate on Thursday approved voting on a $95 billion allocation to go to kyiv, Israel and Taiwan, a day after rejecting a bill combining the funds with immigration reform.

The measure needed the support of at least 60 of the Senate’s 100 seats to be debated in the plenary and decide whether to approve it. It received the support of 67 senators, while 32 spoke against it.

The full Senate must now debate the measure and vote to approve it. Although the final result is not known, the support obtained in this preliminary vote indicates that the game has a chance of moving forward in the Upper House. If so, it will be submitted to the House of Representatives, which will have to decide whether to approve it or not. Its future there is uncertain: we do not know if the Speaker of the House, Republican Mike Johnson, will agree to present it for examination. “We’re going to continue working on this bill until we complete the task,” Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said at the end of the count.

Overall, Thursday’s vote represents a 180-degree turn from the situation in which the week began, in which funds intended for Ukraine seemed doomed to remain forever in legislative limbo.

The President of the United States, Joe Biden, presented to Congress last October a request for additional funds to help Ukraine against the Russian invasion, with an allocation of 61 billion dollars; to Israel, in the war in Gaza ($14 billion), and to Taiwan to strengthen its defenses against harassment from China. The measure also included money to hire more Border Patrol personnel and to handle cases of immigrants entering irregularly from Mexico.

But the Republican opposition has hardened its positions over the past year against aid to Ukraine, believing that the United States, which has already provided more than $75 billion in military aid, has already contributed enough and they didn’t contribute. this money goes. Several lawmakers from this political group argued that before saying yes to these funds, it was necessary to approve immigration reform that would strengthen border control, at a time when irregular crossings are breaking records.

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Trump, against

A group of senators from both parties has opened negotiations to draft a bill combining the two. The talks, on the verge of failure on several occasions, lasted four months. Finally, last Sunday, the white smoke arrived: there was an agreement, and the text was announced, on which even the leader of the Republican minority, Mitch McConnell, had worked. The endorsement of the Senate’s top Republican represented a guarantee of enough votes. Or so it seemed. Days earlier, former President Donald Trump, the party’s likely nominee in the November election, spoke out against what he called a “horrible” bill.

This same Monday, a meeting of the Republican group in the Senate clearly showed that the vast majority of its 49 members have aligned themselves with Trump, who wants to make immigration issues the key theme of his campaign. As a result, the immigration measures that these legislators had called for and which appeared in the bill were not, according to them, rigorous enough. There were not enough votes to advance the measure, despite protests from Democrats. Biden himself made a last-minute appeal Tuesday to vote for her, and asked Republicans to “show their noses” to the former president. On Wednesday, the bill was definitively rejected, failing to obtain the 60 votes necessary to reach the plenary session. Only four Republican lawmakers joined Democrats in voting “yes.”

After the debacle, Democratic Majority Leader Charles Schumer announced a Plan B to salvage aid to Ukraine, which Washington considers essential to containing Russia and a matter of national security. The international aid item would be presented alone, without immigration measures. Exactly what Biden asked for four months ago.

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