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US House approves US$95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan

The United States House of Representatives passed bills allocating over US$95 billion, including nearly US$61 billion for Ukraine, US$26 billion for Israel, and nearly US$8 billion for US allies in the Indo-Pacific region, notably Taiwan.



US house approves US$95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan

The United States House of Representatives made significant strides on 20 April, approving three bills that collectively allocate over US$95 billion in aid, primarily geared towards bolstering military support for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and other recipients.

The allocation of aid to Ukraine had faced hurdles in recent months, as Republican members of Congress, who hold the majority, resisted calls to approve additional assistance.

This delay comes amid Ukraine’s ongoing resistance against Russia’s invasion since February 2022, relying heavily on U.S. military aid to sustain its defence efforts.

The approved bill earmarks nearly US$61 billion specifically for military aid to Ukraine, as reported by The Guardian.

This crucial decision followed months of internal debate among House Republicans.

Despite significant resistance from certain conservative factions within the House, the aid package for Ukraine ultimately passed by a substantial margin, with a vote count of 311 to 112, alongside one abstention.

Notably, approximately US$10 billion of this aid is structured as a repayable loan—a move perceived by some as an attempt to assuage concerns among Republican representatives.

While the bill must now navigate the Senate and secure approval from President Joe Biden, significant opposition is not anticipated.

The process of full approval is expected to conclude by Tuesday (23 April), marking a crucial step forward in the allocation of vital aid to support Ukraine’s defence efforts amidst ongoing conflict.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy conveyed his gratitude, acknowledging the significant step taken by US lawmakers to support his country following Russia’s invasion.

He emphasized that the approved US aid bill is crucial in preventing the escalation of the conflict, preserving countless lives, and fortifying the resilience of both nations.

Zelenskyy’s remarks underscore the importance of international solidarity in maintaining stability and security in the face of aggression.

However, in response to the approval by the House, Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, criticized the new US aid package, warning that it would exacerbate global tensions.

She condemned the provision of military assistance to the Ukrainian government, labelling it as direct support for what she referred to as “terrorist activities,” in a statement posted on Telegram.

US approves US$26 billion aid for Israel

Military aid amounting to up to US$26 billion, including $9.1bn for humanitarian needs, has also been designated for Israel.

The aid package for Israel faced resistance from specific segments within the Democratic Party, notably its progressive factions.

However, despite this opposition, the aid was ultimately approved with a decisive vote of 366 to 58.

These factions have been advocating for restrictions or a cessation of aid to Israel, citing concerns over the country’s military operations in Gaza.

The military campaign in Gaza, which has persisted for nearly six months, has recently seen a reduction in intensity, particularly amid efforts from Israel’s allies to dissuade the country from attacking the border town of Rafah.

However, recent developments, notably a significant escalation of drone and missile exchanges between Iran and Israel, have shifted priorities, prompting renewed attention to bolstering Israel’s defence capabilities.

The approved aid bill for Israel primarily facilitates the replenishment of depleted military supplies and includes funding for the Iron Dome and Iron Beam defence systems, critical components of Israel’s defence infrastructure.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the substantial US assistance, emphasizing its significance in bolstering Israel’s security and safeguarding Western values.

In a statement on X, Netanyahu underscored the bipartisan nature of the support, highlighting its crucial role in defending shared democratic principles and reinforcing Israel’s strategic position in the region.

The Palestinian presidency has strongly condemned the bill, labelling it as “an aggression against the Palestinian people” and a “dangerous escalation.”

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, warned that the allocation of funds would result in “thousands of Palestinian casualties in the Gaza Strip” and the occupied West Bank.

US allocates US$8 billion for Indo-Pacific allies, including Taiwan

In addition to aid for Israel, a portion of the newly approved military assistance—nearly US$8 billion—has been allocated for U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific region, which encompasses Taiwan.

This allocation comes amidst growing strategic concerns in the region and aims to bolster the defence capabilities of key allies.

The aid packages were passed as part of three separate bills, with an additional bill mandating that ByteDance, the parent company of social media platform TikTok, divest itself from the app within a year.

All four bills garnered significant bipartisan support, with the bill pertaining to Taiwan enjoying the strongest backing, passing by a wide margin of 385 votes to 34, reflecting the consensus on the importance of bolstering alliances and defence capabilities in strategically significant regions.

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The warmongering catalyst is at it again.

Where is the aid package going? If it is to American weapon manufacturers, these American politicians are not representing the Americans but the weapon manufacturers. Wars globally will only increase because of these American politicians. All countries in the surrounding war zones will in turn be forced to use their revenue to increase their arsenal. All our earnings will return to the Americans or other countries that manufacture weapons. We need to pull away from this war ideology that the West has successfully created and ask ourselves if we really need to be in this Arms race or can we… Read more »