Republicans block Ukraine aid bill

08:59 07/12/2023

The $110 billion package included $61 billion for Kiev, as well as funds for Israel and aid for Gaza.

Republicans in the US Senate blocked approval of aid to Ukraine after failing to secure a compromise on the US-Mexico border issue. The $110 billion package included $61 billion for Ukraine, as well as funds for Israel and aid for Gaza.

Republicans are insisting that any aid to Ukraine be tied to comprehensive US immigration and asylum reforms. The White House has warned that US funds for Ukraine may end soon.

Senators voted 51 for and 49 against the bill, which required at least 60 votes to pass. The vote casts uncertainty over the future of aid to Ukraine and brings lawmakers back to the negotiating table just days before Congress begins its winter recess. Every Republican senator voted against the measure, along with independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who earlier in the day had expressed reservations.

"I don't believe we should give over $10 billion to Netanyahu's far-right government to continue its current military approach," Sanders said, referring to Israel's bloody offensive. Sanders, who is a longtime critic of Mr. Netanyahu, said that the fund for Israel is immoral and contrary to international law.

A day earlier, US President Joe Biden said he was willing to make significant compromises on the border in order to pass the aid bill for Ukraine.

President Joe Biden pleaded with Republicans to approve the new military aid package. He warned that a Russian victory would prompt Moscow to attack NATO allies. The Biden administration announced $175 million in new security aid to Ukraine. The package includes munitions, including rockets and artillery shells, as well as "equipment to protect critical national infrastructure."

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Congress has approved over $110 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine, most of which has already been sent. Ukrainian officials have repeatedly stressed that they see US help as vital to defeating Russian forces and retaking occupied territory.

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