U.S. Senate Proposes $118 Billion Aid Package Amidst House Opposition

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.05 - 2024 9:46 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
U.S. Senate Proposes $118 Billion Aid Package Amidst House Opposition.

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The U.S. Senate has announced a comprehensive $118 billion aid package, aimed at bolstering border security and providing substantial assistance to Ukraine, Israel, and other allies. Detailed on the Senate's website on February 5, the proposed legislation earmarks significant funds across various sectors, including military support and humanitarian aid.

Key allocations within the package include $60 billion dedicated to military assistance for Ukraine, reflecting a robust commitment to support Kyiv amidst ongoing conflict. Additionally, the bill proposes $20 billion to enhance U.S. migration policies, $14 billion in military aid for Israel, nearly $5 billion for allies in the Asia-Pacific region, and $10 billion for humanitarian aid targeting civilians affected by conflicts in Ukraine and Palestine.

The financial support for Ukraine is multifaceted, encompassing $20 billion for replenishing U.S. warehouses, $15 billion for military training, intelligence exchange, and other supportive actions, plus $14 billion designated for purchasing new weaponry from American manufacturers. Furthermore, the package outlines direct budgetary support for Ukraine amounting to $8 billion, with an additional $2 billion aimed at bolstering key sectors of the Ukrainian economy.

In contrast to the Senate's unified approach, House Speaker Mike Johnson has advocated for a separate $17.6 billion military aid package solely for Israel, a strategy perceived by some as an attempt to isolate support for Israel from the broader Senate proposal.

This move has been met with criticism from the White House, which labeled Johnson's proposal as a "cynical political maneuver." The administration has signaled that President Joe Biden would not endorse such a standalone bill if presented.

Amidst the Senate's efforts, Johnson has voiced concerns over the adequacy of the package's border security measures, particularly regarding migrant entry from Mexico. He previously indicated that the aid to Ukraine, as outlined in the Senate's package, would face opposition, dubbing the proposal as "dead on arrival."

The debate extends beyond aid allocations, touching on broader issues of immigration and border security. Johnson's discussions with former President Donald Trump have highlighted these concerns, especially in the context of Biden's policies on border management and foreign aid.

A previous attempt to pass a $106 billion funding bill for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan was thwarted in the U.S. Senate on December 6, following Republican calls for more stringent immigration controls. The ongoing standoff reflects a broader struggle to balance domestic priorities with international commitments.