U.S. Senate debate $95 billion aid package for Ukraine and others, in rare Sunday session

The U.S. Senate met in a rare Sunday session, debating a $95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

Some right-wing Republican lawmakers, aligned with former President Donald Trump, voiced opposition to sending more aid to Ukraine for its two-year fight against the Russian invasion.

This hindered approval of the assistance, even though most Democratic lawmakers and President Joe Biden, are in favor.

The bill includes $61 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel, nearly $5 billion to support partners in the Indo-Pacific, including Taiwan, and other assistance.

The Senate Democratic majority leader, Chuck Schumer, said lawmakers in the chamber would stay in session “until the job is done,” although extra televisions have been brought in near the chamber so the legislators can watch some of the Sunday night Super Bowl, pro football’s annual championship game in the U.S.

Republicans supported more aid for Israel’s war against Hamas militants, although many U.S. lawmakers, especially progressive Democrats, have vocally condemned Israel for the extent of its counteroffensive that Palestinian health officials say has killed more than 28,000 people in Gaza after the Hamas terror attack in October killed 1,200 in Israel.

Senate Republicans last week opposed a measure that included the foreign assistance, along with provisions to tighten restrictions at the U.S.-Mexico border, to curb the flow of thousands of migrants from crossing into the United States each day.

“The failure of the United States Congress, if it occurs, not to support Ukraine, is close to criminal neglect,” Biden said last week. “It is outrageous.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, “Without the support of the United States, and without the support of the European states, Ukraine will have not a chance to defend its own country.”

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