US Senate Schedules Vote on Assistance to Ukraine

Tuesday, 5 December 2023

Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader,  has scheduled the first procedural vote on an additional US$106 billion aid package proposed by President Joe Biden for Ukraine, Israel, the Indo-Pacific region, and for humanitarian purposes in Gaza. 

According to The Hill, voting on the bill is scheduled to take place later this week. Schumer said its promotion is necessary since Ukraine is running out of resources necessary to repel Russian aggression. 

"I urge every single senator to think where we are at this moment in history. America’s national security is on the line around the world — in Europe, in the Middle East and the Indo-Pacific. [The supplemental] could determine the trajectory of democracy for years to come.   We are at a moment in history, " Schumer said in a statement. 

However, The Hill reports that the bill is unlikely to overcome this initial obstacle because Republicans said they will vote against its consideration if it does not include measures to secure the US border with Mexico. 

Senator Chris Murphy, the Democrats' top negotiator, told reporters that the talks broke down because Republicans refused to back down from the demands. 

"Republicans want us to swallow their most difficult proposals and aren’t interested in sitting down and working this out," Murphy added. 

Earlier, Jake Sullivan, US national security adviser, called on Congress to support the White House's request for additional funding for Ukraine, warning that the refusal to vote for it will help the Russian Federation. 

In September, the White House asked Congress to approve a US$106 billion additional funding package containing more than US$61 billion in funding for Ukraine and spending on helping Israel, Taiwan, and border protection. 

But the initiative was hindered by resistance from far-right Republicans in the House of Representatives, whose new speaker, Mike Johnson, has proposed dividing aid to Ukraine and Israel. 

Last week, he stated that he is "confident and optimistic" about the fact that the US Congress will be able to pass additional funds to help Israel and Ukraine before the start of the Christmas holidays. Meanwhile, the White House has warned that the available funds to help Ukraine will run out by the end of the year.

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