A growing number of Republicans oppose US aid to Ukraine, Senate leaders are arguing in strong terms that money is critical To confront the Russian president Vladimir Putin and maintains a global position USA.
During a rare weekend session on Capitol Hill, the Senate voted again to proceed with the aid, as the Senate majority leader. Chuck SchumerAnd the Republican leader Mitch McConnell They issued stark warnings about the consequences of abandoning America’s former allies in Europe.
“It is no exaggeration to say that today “The eyes of the world are on the United States Senate.”McConnell said. “Our allies and partners hope that indispensable nation, the leader of the free world, has the resolve to continue.”
The upper house, which has a thin Democratic majority, voted 67 to 27 to block the bill on Sunday. Final approval is expected by mid-week.
The $95 billion package includes funding for Israel’s fight against Hamas and key strategic ally Taiwan. But the bulk — 60 billion — will help Ukraine resupply ammunition, weapons and other critical needs in its third year of war.
Voting took place at a time when former President Dr Donald TrumpThe favorite for the Republican presidential nomination, is seeking to end aid and has intensified its attacks on the NATO military alliance.
Trump said at a campaign rally in South Carolina on Saturday that Russia should be able to do “whatever it wants” to NATO members who do not meet their defense spending targets. He told a story he had told before about an unnamed NATO member who confronted him about threatening not to help him.
While McConnell has made Ukraine a priority issue, a growing number of members of his Republican conference are following Trump’s lead and opposing the aid, which Senate leaders have been trying to pass for months.
Without mentioning Trump by name, McConnell said in his keynote address on Sunday that “American leadership is vital and in question.”
Schumer said that if the United States does not help Ukraine. “Putin is likely to succeed.”
“The only true response to this threat is for the Senate to confront it decisively by passing this bill as soon as possible,” the Democrat said before the vote.
The Senate is pushing several procedural votes on the reduced package after it failed Attempting to tie it to legislation to stop immigration at the United States border. Objections from Republicans who staunchly oppose aid have delayed swift action, forcing a vote over the weekend as negotiations continue over potential reforms to the law.
Schumer has said he is open to the amendment (most of which would fail) but senators were forced to stay in session over the weekend to speed up the process.
“I don’t remember the last time the Senate was in session on a Sunday Superbowl”, he said while opening the session. “But as I’ve said all week, we’re going to continue to work on this bill until it’s done.”
In a key vote last week, 17 Republican senators agreed to open debate on the bill and 31 voted against it, giving McConnell and other Republican aid supporters new hope that it can pass.
But even if the Senate approves the package, His future in the House is highly uncertainWhere the vast majority of Republican lawmakers are firmly aligned with Trump.
Amid shortage of battlefields, the package will provide 60 billion dollars to Ukraine, mainly to buy American-made defense equipment, including munitions and air defense systems that officials say are desperately needed when Russia attacks the country. That includes $8 billion for the Kiev government and other aid.
It will also give $14 billion for Israel’s war against Hamas$8 billion in humanitarian aid to Taiwan and its partners in the Indo-Pacific and $9.2 billion to Gaza to counter China.
(with information from AP)