US Senate talks about consensus for urgent aid to Ukraine and Israel

Monday, 15 April 2024 —

US Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Chuck Schumer, said that during a Sunday phone call between President Joe Biden and congressional leaders, a "consensus" was reached that Congress should act quickly to send aid to both Israel and Ukraine.

As reported by ABC News, Schumer expressed hope at a press conference in New York that something could be done this week to help both countries.

He noted that the best way to send aid to Israel and Ukraine is for the House of Representatives to pass the Senate-approved National Security Supplemental Act, which includes aid to both countries. 

The Senate passed the US$95 billion package in February, but House Speaker Mike Johnson did not bring it to a vote.


"The best way to help Israel rebuild its anti-missile and anti-drone capacity is by passing that supplemental immediately. 

As I said, Israel expended about over a billion dollars in defending itself and the security supplemental would replenish the kind of anti-missile and anti-drone defenses that are in the Arrow, in the David's Sling, and in the Iron Dome," Schumer said.

Earlier on Sunday, Biden spoke with Senate Majority Leader Schumer, House Speaker Mike Johnson, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said in a statement Saturday that the House would change its legislative schedule this week to "consider legislation that supports our ally Israel and holds Iran and its terrorist proxies accountable," but it's not yet clear what legislation that will be, or how drastically it might depart from the Senate-passed bill.

US House Speaker Mike Johnson said on Sunday that the House would "try again" to vote for military aid to Israel in response to Iran's large-scale attack. But he did not specify whether the package of support for Ukraine would be combined with the aid to Israel and would be voted on this week.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner said he expects a vote on Ukraine aid this week, "and I expect it to pass." 

Hardline conservatives warned Johnson against including funding for Ukraine in any aid package for Israel.

On Friday, Johnson discussed support for Ukraine with potential Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

After the meeting, Trump said he supported approving financial aid to Ukraine, but in the form of a loan.

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