What are the next steps after the Senate approves a $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan?

In a significant bipartisan victory that has been months in the making, the Senate successfully passed a comprehensive foreign aid package on Tuesday night. This package is set to provide a total of $95 billion in aid to three key countries: Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

The package received approval with a vote of 79-18.

A total of 31 Republicans, along with 48 Democrats, came together to pass the legislation. It is worth noting that this is an increase of nine Republicans who supported the aid package compared to when the Senate last discussed it in February. On the other hand, two Democrats, namely Sens. Jeff Merkley and Peter Welch, as well as independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, voted against the legislation, alongside 15 Republicans.

Four bills that garnered bipartisan support were passed in the House over the weekend, as part of the legislation.

The package includes approximately $26 billion in funding for Israel, which is currently engaged in a conflict with Hamas in Gaza. Additionally, it allocates $61 billion in assistance to Ukraine and $8 billion to allies in the Indo-Pacific region. Another provision within the bill would require a U.S. ban on TikTok if its Chinese parent company fails to sell it. Furthermore, the legislation imposes sanctions on Russia, China, and Iran, while also enabling the seizure of Russian assets to aid in Ukraine’s recovery from the destruction caused by the war.

The package is now on its way to President Joe Biden’s desk. In a statement, he expressed his intention to sign it on Wednesday.

In a statement, President Biden expressed his gratitude for the bipartisan majority in the Senate and the House who responded to the call of history during this crucial moment. He highlighted that Congress has successfully passed his legislation, which aims to reinforce national security and convey a strong message to the world regarding the strength of American leadership. The United States firmly stands for democracy and freedom, while firmly opposing tyranny and oppression.

Biden stressed the urgency of providing aid to the ally countries in need of funds.

The urgency is palpable. Ukraine is relentlessly bombarded by Russia, while Israel recently endured unprecedented attacks from Iran. Refugees and those affected by conflicts and natural disasters, including those in Gaza, Sudan, and Haiti, also require immediate assistance. Additionally, our partners in the Indo-Pacific region are seeking security and stability.

During a late-night press conference following the vote, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed his joy and celebrated the bipartisan success of the passage of the foreign aid package.

“It’s not every day that one can proudly claim to have made a profound impact on the world. However, tonight, I believe the Senate can confidently make that statement, and I am filled with immense pride for what has transpired,” expressed Schumer.

America is sending a powerful message to the entire world: we will not abandon you. We are standing firmly with our allies and warning our adversaries not to underestimate us. This national security bill is a crucial step taken by Congress to safeguard America’s security and the stability of democracy in the Western world, according to Schumer.

Schumer expressed his admiration for his colleagues who collaborated in a bipartisan manner to successfully pass the bill. He specifically recognized Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for his contributions.

According to Schumer, he was aware of the correct course of action and remained committed to it.

During a comprehensive press conference following a previous procedural vote on the package, McConnell expressed his belief that his party is making headway in overcoming the trends of isolationism that he has long been battling against. While acknowledging that the isolationist streak within his party still exists to some extent, he expressed optimism about the progress that has been achieved so far.

According to McConnell, he believes that there is a trend towards America taking on a more proactive leadership role in the world. He expresses his desire to see the country step up and fulfill its responsibilities.

Counting the groundswell of GOP support as a victory was a significant accomplishment for him.

“I believe we have made significant progress in this debate,” he expressed, emphasizing, “In particular, I have noticed the discomfort among those who advocate for isolationism when they are labeled as such. It is clear that we are gradually moving away from the isolationist movement, and I am confident that this positive trajectory will persist.”

What’s next?

According to Biden, aid will be given to several ally countries in a matter of days.

The Biden administration had prepared a military assistance package for Ukraine worth approximately $1 billion, in anticipation of the bill’s passing. According to a U.S. official, the first shipment of this package would be delivered within days of its approval.

The official stated that the package will consist of much-needed artillery rounds, air defense ammunition, and armored vehicles. These weapons and equipment will be sourced from existing U.S. stockpiles through the presidential drawdown authority (PDA).

According to the top American general in Europe, Ukraine will be unable to achieve victory in its conflict with Russia without adequate funding.

According to Gen. Christopher Cavoli from U.S. European Command, the Russian side is currently outshooting the Ukrainians by a ratio of five to one in terms of artillery shells. This means that the Russians are firing five times more shells than the Ukrainians can retaliate with. Gen. Cavoli further states that this ratio is expected to double to ten to one within a matter of weeks, emphasizing that this significant disparity is not a matter of months but rather a rapidly evolving situation.

Cavoli emphasized that the fate of the war could be determined by the outcome.

“The importance of this moment cannot be emphasized enough. If we fail to provide ongoing support to Ukraine, Ukraine stands the risk of losing,” he emphasized.

It’s been over a year since Congress approved new aid for Ukraine to help in its battle against Russian invaders. In recent weeks, the conflict has escalated, with an increase in Russian strikes that are overwhelming Ukraine’s dwindling air defenses.

In the fall of last year, Biden initially made a request for additional aid to Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific. In February, the Senate successfully passed a bill worth $95 billion to fulfill this request. However, the legislation encountered obstacles in the House due to opposition from a group of Republican hard-liners. Their concerns revolved around the allocation of resources overseas without first addressing pressing domestic issues, such as immigration.

Speaker Mike Johnson’s stance on Ukraine aid went through a transformation. Initially, he insisted on making alterations to border and immigration policies. However, he later collaborated with Democrats to successfully pass the most recent bills.

GOP leaders, including Johnson, shared those concerns and advocated for significant revisions to immigration policy. However, a comprehensive agreement in the Senate to link foreign aid to these changes faced opposition from former President Donald Trump and was ultimately dismissed by conservatives as inadequate.

Lawmakers faced mounting pressure to provide aid to overseas allies following Iran’s recent attacks on Israel. The attacks were carried out in response to a strike on an Iranian consular complex in Syria. Additionally, the ongoing offensive by Russian forces further intensified the urgency for action.

Last week, Speaker Johnson, who was previously against providing additional aid to Ukraine, expressed his willingness to defend his stance on the issue, even if it means risking his position in the face of potential removal threats from fellow Republican representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene, Thomas Massie, and Paul Gosar.

Johnson received praise from both sides of the aisle for his decision to reverse course.

Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, expressed his views on the actions taken by President Trump. According to McCaul, the President attempted to fulfill the demands of the Freedom Caucus, but this approach was not viable in the Senate or the White House. McCaul emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating that time was running out and Ukraine was on the brink of collapse.

According to McCaul, Johnson underwent a significant transformation regarding the issue.

Schumer went on to commend Johnson after the procedural votes were successfully passed.

Schumer expressed his gratitude towards Speaker Johnson, acknowledging that he had taken a commendable stance and made the decision to do what was right, despite facing immense political pressure.

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