NewsHouse of Representatives decided. No aid for Ukraine?

House of Representatives decided. No aid for Ukraine?

President of the USA Joe Biden
President of the USA Joe Biden
Images source: © PAP | Chris Kleponis / CNP / POOL

12:52 PM EDT, November 3, 2023

On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted in favor of allocating 14 billion dollars for military aid to Israel but omitted any aid package for Ukraine. Majority voices in the Senate and President Joe Biden have already showcased their opposition to this decision.

A group of 226 members of Congress, inclusive of 12 Democrats, supported the bill while 196 members voted against it. Nevertheless, the law is unlikely to come into effect given that both the Senate and the President are opposed to it. They are both firmly insisting on a vote on funds for both Israel and Ukraine, which amount to over 61 billion dollars.

The proposed bill by Republican members of Congress offers to provide the Pentagon with 14.3 billion dollars for military aid to Israel. This covers associated costs, including 4 billion dollars for replenishing Iron Dome and David's Sling air defense missile systems and over 1 billion dollars for the development of the Iron Beam laser system. Additionally, the bill pushes for IRS budget cuts.

Due to these factors, the bill is unlikely to be enacted. High-ranking senators from both parties, along with President Biden, criticized this decision. They express dissatisfaction not only with the bill but also with the lack of requests for humanitarian aid for Palestinians. Biden, Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate urged for a vote on the full package of more than 105 billion dollars. They want to provide additional funds for aid to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan.

Even before this vote, the White House declared its intention to veto the bill in its current form as planned by the Republicans, if it came to the President's desk. However, this may not be necessary, as Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, announced that the House-approved bill won't even make it to the Senate debates. Instead, the Senate will draft its own bill that combines all of the White House's preferred priorities.

The newly appointed Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, and the Republicans have been insisting on separating the two issues. Johnson, who had voted against additional aid packages for Ukraine in the past, admitted that he has since changed his position and plans to allow a vote on a bill that includes funds intended for Kyiv. The timeframe and outcome of an agreement between the two chambers of Congress on finalizing the funding package remain uncertain.

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