The US Senate has approved aid bills for Ukraine and Israel

(CNN) — The US Senate approved a $95.3 billion foreign aid bill for Ukraine and Israel early Tuesday, setting up a showdown with the House of Representatives, whose Speaker Mike Johnson has criticized the legislation.

The foreign aid package includes billions of dollars to support Ukraine and security aid for Israel, as well as humanitarian aid for citizens of Gaza, the West Bank and Ukraine, among other priorities. It is unclear whether Johnson will vote on the issue, and many House Republicans oppose continuing to provide more aid to Ukraine.

The bill passed the Senate despite Johnson’s criticism of the legislation and former President Donald Trump signaling his opposition by arguing that the United States should stop providing foreign aid unless it is in the form of loans. The Senate vote was 70-29, with 22 Republicans voting in favor, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“History settles all accounts,” McConnell said in a statement after the vote. “And today, at the value of American leadership and strength, history will record that the Senate did not bat an eyelid.”

Among other policy provisions, the bill includes $60 billion to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia, $14.1 billion in security assistance to Israel, $9.2 billion in humanitarian aid and $4.8 billion to support regional partners in the Indo-Pacific region. To the Senate Appropriations Committee.

A photograph taken from Rafah shows smoke rising during an Israeli bombardment of Khan Younis in southern Gaza. (Credit: Khatib/AFP via Getty Images)

“The House has to find a way and it’s going to have to do it its way, but we needed to start the process and we’ve done that,” Senate Republican Leader John Thune told reporters Tuesday.

The Senate passed the legislation last week after Republicans blocked a broader bill that would have tied foreign aid to bilateral border deals. Republicans initially demanded that border security be part of the bill, but later rejected a bipartisan border deal amid fierce attacks on the measure from Trump and top House Republicans.

In a statement Monday, Johnson criticized the foreign assistance bill for its lack of border provisions, saying the Senate “must go back to the table to amend the current bill to include real border security provisions that will actually help.” An end to the current devastation.” Johnson had previously opposed a broader bill that included border provisions. The president has called these provisions inadequate, even though they were the product of bipartisan negotiations and included restrictive border measures.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer welcomed the legislation’s passage, saying in remarks on the floor: “It’s been years, maybe decades, since the Senate has passed a bill that affects not only our security, but national security. Our allies. , but the protection of Western democracies.

“I believe that if President Johnson brings this bill to the House, it will pass with equally strong bipartisan support,” Schumer said.

The Senate advanced the bill because Trump argued that the United States should not provide foreign aid unless it was through loans, which he opposed to the legislation. Trump has also indicated that he would encourage Russian aggression against any NATO member country that does not pay its fair share.

Some Senate Republicans on Monday defended or downplayed Trump’s comments about NATO.

“I agree with them 100%,” Sen. Tommy Tuberville said of Trump that NATO members must pay their dues or risk Putin invading their country.

The Alabama Republican also suggested that European allies should be “very concerned” about the invasion, saying they should protect themselves and not rely on the United States, adding that the country “can’t protect everyone.”

Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas said European allies who are concerned about Trump’s comments “need to get over it.”

“You know, they need to get over it. They need to stand up and be tough. First we need to secure our own border. First we need to take care of things here at home. While we secure our own border, While we take care of our home, great. Let’s help other people, too,” he told the Kansas Republican.

A Ukrainian infantryman in a front-line trench, in Kreminna Forest, Luhansk Oblast, on January 31, 2024.

In the Senate, consideration of the bill dragged on for days as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky vowed to extend the timeline in opposition to the legislation.

Any senator can slow down the process and force the Senate to take a time-consuming vote to reach final approval.

Paul continued to delay Sunday, saying he would hold off until “hell freezes over.” He indicated that he was ready to speak on the national debt and other issues. “I love to talk. It’s one of my favorite things,” he said.

“We do this on purpose,” Paul said. “I don’t like it here… I’m not here because it’s fun, I’m here because I don’t think there are enough people talking about the fear of debt.”

On Sunday, just hours before the start of the Super Bowl, the House took a key vote to advance the package by a total of 67 to 27.

CNN’s Manu Raju and Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.

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