US Senate to vote on Ukraine aid after House’s months-long delay

US Senate to vote on Ukraine aid after House’s months-long delay
US Senate to vote on Ukraine aid after House’s months-long delay

Hello and welcome to the details of US Senate to vote on Ukraine aid after House’s months-long delay and now with the details

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer, whose party narrowly controls the chamber, said Saturday ‘the finish line is now in sight’ for the assistance package, and that an agreement had been ‘locked in’ for a vote today. — Reuters pic

WASHINGTON, April 23 — The US Senate is set to vote today on a major aid package for Ukraine, with its passage all but certain after the House of Representatives — following months of wrangling — approved the assistance with broad bipartisan support.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer, whose party narrowly controls the chamber, said Saturday “the finish line is now in sight” for the assistance package, and that an agreement had been “locked in” for a vote today.

“The task before us is urgent. It is once again the Senate’s turn to make history,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said.

The final package — which outlines a whopping US$95 billion (RM454 billion) in total military assistance to US allies, including money for Israel and Taiwan alongside the US$61 billion earmarked for Ukraine — is expected to land on President Joe Biden’s desk for his approval by the end of the week.

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The Senate vote should go more smoothly, without having to deal with the complicated negotiations and disagreements that plagued the Republican-controlled House.

Biden promised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone call yesterday that Kyiv could expect the assistance to arrive “quickly,” as they struggle forward in their over-two-year battle against Russia’s invasion.

The Ukrainian military is facing a severe shortage of weapons and new recruits as Moscow exerts constant pressure from the east.

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And circumstances are expected to worsen on the frontlines in the coming weeks, with Ukrainian intelligence head Kyrylo Budanov predicting a “rather difficult situation” beginning mid-May.

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Zelensky, after his conversation with Biden, said he is counting on the speedy delivery of a “powerful” aid shipment to strengthen Ukraine’s air defence as well as “long-range and artillery capabilities.”

The debate over Ukraine aid has highlighted wide divisions between Democrats and Republicans in Congress — but it has also revealed deep fissures within the conservative movement ahead of November’s presidential match-up between Biden and Donald .

Many lawmakers waved Ukrainian flags in the US House chamber after the vote Saturday — but were met with boos from Trump-allied Republicans.

Biden and the Democrats like to frame Ukraine aid as an investment in US security against Russian aggression.

But Republicans have been hesitant, wary of sending money overseas, and House Speaker Mike Johnson has spent much of his six-month tenure blocking a vote on economic and military aid for Ukraine.

He told reporters how he finally came around: “To put it bluntly, I would rather send bullets to Ukraine than American boys. My son is going to begin in the Naval Academy this fall.”

In addition to money for Ukraine, today’s vote will also decide on US$13 billion for Israel’s war with Hamas, more than US$9 billion for humanitarian assistance in Gaza and elsewhere and US$8 billion in military support for Taiwan as it faces down China. — AFP

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