Senate passes aid bill for Israel, Taiwan, Ukraine

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(WASHINGTON) — A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has passed a $95 billion foreign aid bill for Israel, Taiwan and Ukraine, setting up a showdown in the House of Representatives, where Republican leaders have resisted such legislation.

The Senate voted 70-29 to approve the bill early Tuesday, with 22 Republican senators supporting the final passage.

The successful vote in the upper chamber of Congress follows months of wrangling over if and how to approve more overseas funding, with conservatives initially saying U.S. President Joe Biden’s request for that money had to be tied to an overhaul of border and immigration policy.

However, a deal in the Senate that was negotiated between Democrats and Republicans to seriously tighten border security along with the new aid was quickly criticized by some in the GOP as insufficient and weakened by loopholes. Instead, the Senate then moved forward with the current legislation, which removed the immigration provisions.

It’s unclear what fate the bill will face in the lower chamber of Congress, which recently tried and failed to pass stand-alone legislation just to send aid to Israel in its war against Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that rules the neighboring Gaza Strip. House Speaker Mike Johnson has suggested the Senate proposal is not likely to get a vote or even be brought up for debate in his chamber.

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