Early on the morning of the 13th, at 6:30 am (8:30 p.m. Korean time), the U.S. Senate granted $60.1 billion (80 trillion won) to Ukraine and $14.1 billion (18.7 trillion won) to Israel, for a total of $95.34 billion (126.8 trillion won). The special overseas support law was passed in the plenary session.
In the final vote of the plenary session on this day, 22 of the 49 opposition Republican senators, including floor leader Mitch McConnell and floor leader John Sun, voted in favor.
In the Democratic Party, out of 51 lawmakers, including three sympathetic lawmakers, three, including Bernie Sanders, voted against the bill, saying they could not accept the bill’s inclusion of support for Israel, which is stingy with relief and protection for Gazans. This means that I agree with support for Ukraine.
The main focus of this special law on foreign support is support for Ukraine, which has been fighting Russia for 24 months, and Israel, which has been fighting the Gaza war with Hamas for 5 months. In addition, $8 billion (KRW 10.6 trillion) was allocated to allies in the Indo-Pacific region, including Taiwan, and USD 9.2 billion (KRW 12.2 trillion) was allocated to refugee relief in conflict zones such as Gaza, the West Bank, Ukraine, Sudan, and Myanmar.
It was passed with clear support from the Republican Party in the Senate, but since last year, the House Republican Party, which holds the majority, has repeatedly declared and threatened that the majority, including Speaker Mike Johnson, will reject the special foreign aid bill in the House. Unless it is a special political negotiation and a three-way battle, it seems difficult for the 80 trillion won aid to Ukraine to pass the House of Representatives and be signed by the President.
This special support law was originally Ukraine’s second special support bill, and President Joe Biden and the ruling Democratic Party had been working hard to pass it since last summer, but it was repeatedly blocked for more than half a year due to the Republican Party’s wall.
The United States under the Biden administration has provided a total of $110 billion (KRW 146 trillion) to Ukraine through a total of four Congressional Special Assistance Acts, including military, national relief, and government financial support, for one year since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February 2022. ) provided support. At this time, both the Senate and the House of Representatives were under the control of the ruling Democratic Party.
As the Republican Party recaptured the House of Representatives in the 2022 midterm elections, support for Ukraine became difficult.
The Republican Party’s original principle was to enhance the prestige of the United States and democracy through active foreign intervention through expansion of defense spending while maintaining a domestic ‘small government’ stance such as limiting welfare spending and reducing taxes. However, this trend was overturned when his party, Donald Trump, won the 2016 presidential election with his populist pledge of ‘America, Americans First’.
Fatigue and antipathy toward Ukraine support within the Republican Party grew under Trump’s cover. The Republican Party, taking advantage of the influx of illegal immigrants approaching 10,000 per day through the southern border with Mexico since the Biden administration, has made tight border security and hard-line immigration and asylum reform a political issue, using it as a driving force for victory in this year’s presidential and general elections. I wanted to do it.
The Republican Party insisted on thoroughly protecting the southern border before other countries, so the $60 billion aid plan for Ukraine was repeatedly defeated. Since October 7, the Republican Party has been more hasty than the Democratic Party in providing support to Israel, which has been fighting Hamas. The Democratic Party planned to gain Republican support by combining aid for Israel and Taiwan with aid for Ukraine, but the Republican House of Representatives did not respond to this plan.
There were many people within the Senate Republican Party who were steadfast in their support for Ukraine, and a bipartisan compromise in the Senate was realized that included provisions for foreign aid to Ukraine and Israel, as well as border and immigration reform.
The Democratic Party made groundbreaking concessions in the border and immigration areas to support Ukraine, making it certain that the other bill will pass the Senate. However, Trump ordered the Republican Party to absolutely oppose this compromise bill, believing that if this bill were passed, the credit could go to Biden in matters such as immigration reform. The Senate Republican Party also followed suit, with 49 members all opposing the bill allowing a vote at the plenary session on the 6th, and the compromise bill was discarded.
Democratic Party leader Chuck Schumer removed all immigration provisions and changed the bill to a foreign aid bill limited to only the foreign aid portion. Regardless of Trump’s threats, 22 Republican senators supported the bill providing 80 trillion won in aid to Ukraine.
Attention is being paid to whether the Republican Party, which controls the House of Representatives with a narrow vote of 219 to 212, will immediately scrap this Senate-passed bill, as it has threatened to do, and not put it up for a vote.
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