Biden agrees to $95 billion war aid measures to help Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

Credit: AP

US President Joe Biden signed into law a $95 billion (£76.4 billion) war aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan after months of delays and debate over how involved the United States should be in overseas wars.

“We rose to the moment. we came together. and we got it done," Biden said at a White House event to announce the signing. "Now we need to move fast, and we are.”

The announcement marks an end to a long battle with Republicans in Congress over urgently needed assistance for Ukraine.

The aid package will include missiles, smaller arms and rounds of ammunition, armoured vehicles and support equipment.

Biden signed off on the law on Wednesday after it made it through Congress on Tuesday. The House of Representatives had approved the package on Saturday.

The legislation will also send $26 billion in wartime assistance to Israel and humanitarian relief to citizens of Gaza, and $8 billion to counter Chinese threats in Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific.

Some Republicans had bitterly opposed the Bill, but in the end, 31 Republicans voted for the aid package.

That is nine more than when the Senate passed a similar version in February, and a majority of the Senate GOP conference.

The House approved the package in a series of four votes on Saturday, with the Ukraine portion passing 311-112.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who had voted against the foreign aid package in February because it wasn’t paired with legislation to stem migration at the border, was one of the Republicans who switched their votes.

How will the aid package help Ukraine?

Ukrainian soldiers have struggled as Russia has seized the momentum on the battlefield and gained significant territory.

Biden told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday the US will send badly needed air defense weaponry as soon as the legislation is passed.

“If we don't help Ukraine now, this war will spread, and Americans who are not involved will be involved,” Ms Graham said.

The $61 billion for Ukraine comes as the war-torn country desperately needs new firepower as Russian President Vladimir Putin steps up his attacks.

The arms and ammunition should enable Ukraine to slow the Russian army's advances and block its strikes on troops and civilians.

It will also buy Ukraine time for long-term planning about how to take back the fifth of the country now under Russian control.

Biden said the transfer of an initial aid package of military assistance will begin in a matter of hours. It will be the first tranche from about $61 billion allocated for Ukraine, according to US officials.

“The President has assured me that the package will be approved quickly and that it will be powerful, strengthening our air defense as well as long-range and artillery capabilities,” Zelenskyy said in a post on X on Monday.

The first shipments are expected to arrive by the beginning of next week, said Davyd Arakhamia, a lawmaker with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People party.

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