Biden signs $95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan


U.S. President Joe Biden signed  a bill Wednesday providing $95 billion in aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, saying, “When our allies are stronger. We are stronger.”

He said the new assistance, aimed at helping Ukraine fight Russia’s two-year invasion and Israel to fight Hamas militants and fend off airstrikes from Iran, is “going to make America safer. It’s going to make the world safer. And it continues America’s leadership in the world.”


Biden said that within hours, the U.S. would begin shipments of air defense munitions, artillery for rocket systems and armored vehicles into Ukraine to help Kyiv’s fighters in a war with Moscow that has largely stalemated on the eastern Ukraine battlefront.

He said the U.S. would ship munitions from its own stockpiles, then replace those with new munitions manufactured in the United States.

“In other words, we’re helping Ukraine while at the same time, investing in our own industrial base, strengthening our own national security, supporting jobs in nearly 40 states all across America,” Biden said.

He called congressional passage of the aid bill, approved after months of debate, “a historical moment,” showing the U.S. would stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We stand up against dictators,” Biden declared. “We bow to no one, certainly not Vladimir Putin.”

The Senate late Tuesday completed passage of the new aid bill. The 79-18 vote came after months of delays, chiefly in the House of Representatives, where the legislation stalled in a dispute over sending aid abroad while failing to act on tighter security to curb migration at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The House ultimately approved the measure by a vote of 311-112 on Saturday. But the measure in the final version does not address the U.S. border migration concerns.

Ukraine’s battle against a Russian invasion is the major focus of the package, with $61 billion going toward that fight.

The bill also includes $26 billion for Israel at a time when it is battling Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, and $8 billion for countering China’s actions threatening Taiwan and other allies in the Indo-Pacific region.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been urging allies to provide more aid to help his military match up against Russia’s forces, particularly to defend Ukrainian cities from daily missile and drone attacks.

Zelenskyy thanked Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell following the Senate approval, saying the vote “reinforces America’s role as a beacon of democracy and the leader of the free world.”

“Ukraine’s long-range capabilities, artillery and air defense are critical tools for restoring just peace sooner,” Zelenskyy said.

Schumer said late Tuesday the United States will soon deliver ammunition and air defenses to help Ukraine resist Russia, send aid to Israel to fight Hamas and stand up to Iran, deliver food and medicine to civilians in Gaza and help allies resist China.

“We tell our allies, ‘We stand with you.’ We tell our adversaries, ‘Don’t mess with us,’” Schumer said.

McConnell told the Senate ahead of the vote that the world was watching to see how lawmakers would act.

“History will record that even as allies and partners may have worried about the depth of our resolve, even as Moscow, Beijing and Tehran grew more convinced that our influence had run its course, and even as loud voices here at home insisted on abandoning the responsibilities of leadership, America stepped up,” McConnell said.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz also thanked lawmakers for passing the security aid bill, calling the package “a clear testament to the strength of our alliance” and saying it “sends a strong message to all our enemies.”

Source: VOA


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