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

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan emergency spending bill on Wednesday to provide an additional $95 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, ending months of behind-the-scenes maneuvering and public requests for Congress to approve the funding.

The package also included a step requiring the sale of the popular TikTok app by its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, or face a possible ban.

“It should have been easier and it should have happened sooner,” Biden said of the spending. “But in the end, we did what America always does – we reached the point, we came together and we made it happen.”

He said that financing foreign aid is not only an investment in the security of American allies, but also of the United States itself.

“We are sending equipment to Ukraine from our own stockpile, and then here in America we will replenish that stockpile with new products made by American companies,” Biden said. “Patriot missiles made in Arizona, javelins made in Alabama, artillery shells made in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.”

Biden reiterated that America’s commitment to Israel is “ironclad” and that he will ensure that “Israel has what it needs to defend itself against Iran and the terrorists it supports.”

He also called on Israel to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches the civilian population in Gaza, who are “suffering from the consequences of the war started by Hamas.”

“Israel must ensure that all this aid reaches the Palestinians in Gaza without delay,” Biden said. “And everything we do is guided by the ultimate goal of bringing these hostages home, ensuring a ceasefire and setting the conditions for lasting peace.”

Pentagon announced $1 billion military aid package for Ukraine minutes after Biden signed a bill covering “air defense interceptors, artillery missiles, armored vehicles and anti-tank weapons.”

Six months of fighting for aid

Congress has spent the last six months debating the best way to deliver aid after Biden sent an urgent request for funds to MPs in October.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate have insisted that military and humanitarian aid be accompanied by changes to border security and immigration laws.

Oklahoma Republican Senator James Lankford, Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy and Arizona Independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema had been hustling for months before reaching an agreement.

But former Republican President Donald Trump urged GOP lawmakers to block the bill from advancing to the Senate over concerns it would deliver a victory for the Biden administration in a policy area that matters deeply to many voters.

After Senate Republicans blocked the package which included the bipartisan Border Security Act, this chamber passed a $95 billion emergency spending package with aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

This measure passed in February, but it stalled in the House for the next two months as Speaker Mike Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, held a series of meetings on whether the chamber should take action.

Johnson ultimately decided to go further, releasing four bills each of which would receive separate votes before being combined into one package and sent to the Senate.

The $95 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan was strikingly similar to the Senate bill, except that economic aid to Ukraine should be classified as a forgivable loan.

House I voted on Saturday to approve all four bills on essentially bipartisan votes and the Senate I voted on Tuesday evening send a package to Biden’s desk.

Republican Party leaders in the House of Representatives added a measure to the emergency spending bills called The 21st Century Peace Through Strength Act — which combined multiple bills, including one that requires ByteDance to sell social media applications within one year or face a possible ban in the United States.

Washington Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell, chairwoman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said Tuesday that it was “concerning” the Chinese government’s “use of TikTok to repeatedly access user data in the U.S. and track multiple journalists writing about the company.”

“As of December 2023, an analysis by Rutgers University found that TikTok posts on topics sensitive to the Chinese government, including Tiananmen Square, the Uyghurs and the Dalai Lama, were significantly less prevalent on TikTok than on Instagram, the most comparable social media Cantwell said.

“Foreign policy issues that are not favored by the Chinese and Russian governments also had fewer hashtags on TikTok, such as pro-Ukrainian or pro-Israel hashtags,” she added.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, said Tuesday that “it is not complex to imagine how a platform that facilitates so much commerce, political discourse and social debate could be covertly manipulated to serve the goals of an authoritarian regime such as which has a long history of censorship, transnational oppression and the promotion of disinformation.”

Get in Touch


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Latest Posts