Senate passes controversial foreign aid bill sending billions to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

Feb 13, 2024 | Political News

The Senate passed a $95 billion national security supplemental package to assist Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific after a tedious procedural process that came to an end early Tuesday morning.

The final vote was 70 to 29, with 22 Republicans voting yes. Democratic Sens. Peter Welch and Jeff Merkley, plus independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, voted no.

The supplemental package does not include any border security provisions and comes as the national debt soars above $34 trillion. Calls to offset the spending with cuts elsewhere went unheeded. Several Republicans spent hours — since the beginning of the weekend — collectively filibustering the package on the Senate floor. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, committed to filibustering the bill for four hours on Saturday and continued early Tuesday.

The package includes $60 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel, $9 billion in humanitarian assistance for Gaza and nearly $5 billion for the Indo-Pacific. Democrats brought the package up for a vote after Republicans had blocked the $118 billion package that also included numerous border and immigration provisions — negotiated by a group of bipartisan senators and Biden officials — last Wednesday.