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House passes critical aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan along with a TikTok ban

WASHINGTON — The House passed a $95 billion package Saturday that includes two highly anticipated bills providing $60.8 billion in aid to Ukraine and $26 billion in aid to Israel.

The Ukraine bill, which passed with 311 votes in favor, 112 votes against and one present, will now go to the Senate alongside the Israel aid bill and two others – one with one helping Taiwan and another forcing TikTok’s parent company to sell the Ukraine bill. platform.

Lawmakers were seen waving Ukrainian flags and cheering the passage of Ukraine’s bill. There were 101 Republicans and 210 Democrats who voted in favor, while Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Pa., voted present. The 112 votes against came from Republicans.

The Israeli bill passed by a vote of 366 to 58, with 193 Republicans and 173 Democrats voting in favor.

The passage of these bills comes weeks after the Senate passed a mammoth bill providing aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, as well as funding for border security. President Mike Johnson declined to introduce this bill, preferring instead to pass three separate bills providing aid for the three nations.

The Ukraine aid bill comes at a crucial time in the country’s war with Russia, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has expressed the urgent need for weapons and supplies to continue defending the Ukraine against Russian attacks.

President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell praised the House for passing the foreign aid bills on Saturday. Biden said in a statement that a bipartisan group of lawmakers voted to “send a clear message about the power of American leadership on the world stage.” “.

“At this critical inflection point, they came together to answer the call of history, passing much-needed national security legislation that I have fought for for months,” he added. .

In a separate statement, McConnell said: “Today’s action brings this essential national security complement one step closer to helping America and our friends confront the growing spectrum the most dangerous threat in a generation. From the battlefields of Ukraine to the cities and kibbutzim of Israel, and from the Red Sea to the South China Sea, our adversaries collude to violently undermine America, our allies, and our global interests. »

The House also voted Saturday to force TikTok’s parent company to sell it or face a ban in the United States. Under the bill, Chinese company ByteDance will have to sell TikTok within nine months – which the president could extend to a year – or face a fine. nationwide ban. The policy, which extends the sales deadline compared to a previous House bill, has buy-in from the Senate and support from Biden, bringing TikTok closer than ever to a ban in the United States.

The lower house also voted $8.12 billion in aid to Taiwan.

The House voted on the four bills in succession, a day after a rare and extraordinary bipartisan coalition marshaled votes, with more Democrats (165) than Republicans (151) voting for the “rule” to proceed to the measurements.

The three foreign aid bills will now go to the Senate for approval. Taken together, they include the $95 billion aid package championed by Biden, with some changes from the version passed by the Senate two months ago.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., at the Capitol on April 17, 2024.Aaron Schwartz/Sipa USA via AP

Holding the votes represented an act of defiance by Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., against a faction of openly conservative rebels who oppose funding for Ukraine and pressured him not to table the issue to the vote. Three of them — Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. – threatened to oust him from his post as president. Passage of the bill could bring Greene closer to a vote to impeach him.

After months of hesitation, Johnson sided with Biden, Democrats and Republicans who believe helping Ukraine repel Russian aggression is essential to U.S. national security interests, citing the briefings he received and the warning: “Vladimir Putin would continue to march across Europe if allowed. »

“I’d rather send bullets to Ukraine than send American boys,” Johnson told reporters, noting that his son would enter the Naval Academy this year. “This is a live-fire exercise for me and for so many American families. It’s not a game, it’s not a joke.

Before the vote, former President Donald Trump issued a confusing statement in which he sympathized with both the pro- and anti-Ukrainian factions of the Republican Party, without taking a clear position.

The bills are expected to be consolidated and sent to the Senate, which will have to vote on the entire legislation before sending it to Biden’s desk to be signed into law. It’s unclear exactly when that will happen, but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and McConnell are strong supporters of the foreign aid provisions in the package.

“I hope President Biden will soon have long-awaited funding on his desk to support our friends in Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific, as well as aid for innocent civilians who need assistance humanitarian in Gaza and around the world,” Schumer said. before the House vote, warning that Ukraine’s hopes against Russia would dwindle without additional U.S. weapons to defend itself.

On Friday evening, Schumer said the Senate was working to get unanimous agreement to quickly pass foreign aid legislation. “We are working on an agreement for the examination of the additional text,” he told the Senate.

McConnell said earlier this week: “Here’s the political reality: If you think the fall of Afghanistan was bad, the fall of a European capital like kyiv to Russian troops will be unimaginably worse, and if the Stalled US aid makes this outcome possible, there’s no chance. the question is where the blame will fall on us.

News Source : www.nbcnews.com
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jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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