Putting a bipartisan stamp on America’s biggest commitment yet to turning Russia’s invasion into a painful quagmire for Moscow, the Senate has sped through the process of giving final congressional approval to a $40 billion package of the military, economic, and food aid for Ukraine and U.S. allies. This aid package includes military assistance, economic assistance, and food assistance.
On Thursday, the proposal was approved by a vote of 86 to 11, and it received support from every voting Democrat as well as the majority of Republicans. The lopsided vote on Thursday indicated that both parties were largely united about sending Ukraine the material it needs to fend off the more numerous forces of Russian President Vladimir Putin. This is in contrast to the many issues that have collapsed under President Joe Biden due to party-line gridlock, which has impeded progress on many issues.
In a written statement, Vice President Joe Biden stated, “I applaud the Congress for delivering a clear bipartisan message to the world that the people of the United States stand united with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their democracy and freedom.”
The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, expressed gratitude to the United States. During his nightly video message to the country, he told the people of the United States that “this is a demonstration of strong leadership and a critical commitment to our joint defense of freedom.”
All “no” votes came from Republicans despite the fact that midterm elections are less than half a year away and control of Congress is at risk. The same thing occurred in last week’s vote in the House, which resulted in a score of 368-57. This gave fire to Democratic campaign-season predictions that a nationalist section of the GOP was in the thrall of former President Donald Trump and his predilection for isolationism and America First policies.
Trump, who still has influence within the party, has accused Biden of throwing money at Ukraine while mothers lack baby formula. This crisis was sparked by a problem in the supply chain, over which the government does not have much influence. Trump has accused Biden of throwing money at Ukraine while mothers lack baby formula.
The fact that Republicans are against providing help to Ukraine was referred to as “beyond disturbing” by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is a Democrat from New York. Schumer, invoking the phrase Make America Great Again, which Democrats are using to paint Republicans as extremists, said, “It appears more and more that MAGA Republicans are on the same soft-on-Putin script that we saw utilized by former President Trump.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, a staunch supporter of the measure, issued a warning to his Republican colleagues that a victory for Russia would bring unfriendly forces closer to the borders of important European trading partners. McConnell is from the state of Kentucky. According to him, this would result in increased defense spending in the United States and tempt China and other countries with territorial ambitions to test the determination of the United States.
According to McConnell, “the most expensive and painful thing America could possibly do in the long term would be to cease investing in sovereignty, stability, and deterrence before it’s too late.” This would be a decision that would have a negative impact on future generations.
The passage came at the same time that Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the United States had drawn down another $100 million worth of weapons and equipment from the Pentagon to ship to Kyiv. This brings the total amount of U.S. material sent there since the invasion began to $3.9 billion. Although he and other administration officials had previously warned that the power would be emptied by Thursday, the new law will replenish the amount available by more than $8 billion, allowing the government to continue operating normally.
In total, the measure includes approximately 24 billion dollars for the purpose of arming and equipping Ukrainian forces, assisting them in financing the purchase of weapons, replacing United States equipment that has been sent to the theatre, and paying for American troops that have been deployed in countries nearby.
In addition, there is $5 billion available to feed countries all over the world that were dependent on Ukraine’s now-decreased grain supplies. This leaves $9 billion for the upkeep of Ukraine’s government. There is also money available to assist Ukrainian refugees currently living in the United States, to take the assets of Russian billionaires, to reestablish the United States embassy in Kyiv, and to prosecute Russian war criminals.
The proposal doubles the size of the initial $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine that lawmakers approved shortly after the invasion in February. Officials have claimed that the measure is planned to extend through September.
The total price tag of $54 billion is higher than what the United States has spent annually on all of its military and economic aid to other countries in previous years, and it is very close to the amount that Russia spends on its military each year.
“Help is on the way, and it’s going to be a pretty big help. Help that could ensure that the Ukrainians are triumphant,” added Schumer, stating a desire that appeared to be practically inconceivable when Russia initially launched its ruthless onslaught. “Help that could ensure that the Ukrainians are victorious.”
If the conflict continues for an extended period of time, as appears likely, the United States may eventually be forced to determine whether or not to spend more money, despite the fact that inflation, huge federal deficits, and the possibility of a recession are all on the horizon. Under these conditions, obtaining the agreement of both parties for any potential future aid measure could become more difficult, particularly as November gets closer and the level of collaboration between the parties declines.
The legislation received support from a number of potential candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, including Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and Marco Rubio of Florida. Another representative from Missouri, Josh Hawley, cast a negative vote. The Republican senators from Wisconsin and Alaska, Ron Johnson and Lisa Murkowski, respectively, who are likely to have the most challenging reelection campaigns this fall among their party’s colleagues, supported the legislation.
There were three Democratic senators who did not show up for the vote. Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland is making a full recovery after suffering what he describes as a “minor stroke.” The office of Representative Sherrod Brown of Ohio stated that he woke up “not feeling well,” underwent preventative tests at the George Washington University Hospital, and was currently resting at home with the intention of returning to the Capitol the following week. The office of Representative Jacky Rosen of Nevada stated that she was attending her daughter’s graduation from law school.
A package that Biden had suggested for $33 billion had been boosted by lawmakers with more expenditure on defense and humanitarian aid. He was forced to withdraw his request to include an additional $22.5 billion so that the government could continue its fight against the pandemic. This spending was opposed by a large number of Republicans and became entwined in a fight over immigration, which complicated things politically.
During Thursday’s debate, Republican lawmakers who were against the plan remained silent. After the package was passed, Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky and one of the 11 conservatives who voted “no,” questioned if Americans would approve the plan if Congress asked them to pay for it. Paul was one of the 11 conservatives who voted “no.”
“I wonder whether Americans across our country would agree if they had been shown the costs if they had been asked to pay for it,” added Paul. “I wonder if Americans across our country would agree if they had been asked to pay for it.” Simply put, we rent it out. The phrase that Congress uses is, “Put that on my tab.”
Paul, who routinely opposes U.S. intervention and has a pattern of derailing bills that are on the verge of approval, had used Senate procedures to derail Schumer and McConnell’s plans to approve the assistance for Ukraine the previous week. Paul is known for his habit of derailing bills that are on the verge of approval.