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Ukraine aid bill passes procedural vote in Senate, paving way for final vote

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 23, 2024 11:05 PM 2 min read
Ukraine sympathizers fly a Ukrainian flag outside the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. as the Senate on Feb. 11, 2024. (Roberto Schmidt/Getty Images)
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The U.S. Senate passed a procedural vote to advance the long-awaited foreign aid bill on April 23, paving the way for the $60.8 billion package of aid for Ukraine.

After months of political infighting and a deteriorating situation on the battlefield in Ukraine, the U.S. House of Representatives finally passed a crucial foreign aid package on April 20, which includes $60.84 billion for Ukraine.

The process to pass the package in the Senate began on April 23. The procedural vote, which ended the possibility of an extended "debate on the essence of the bill," passed 80 to 19, Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova said.

"The decision starts a 30-hour period for senators' speeches, in which one senator can speak up to 1 hour," Markarova said, adding that the duration "will depend on the number of senators who participate."

Ukrainian MP Yaroslav Zhelezniak welcomed the result of the procedural vote as "good news."

"It is very likely now the discussion will go quickly and the package will be approved this evening in Washington or our night (Kyiv time)," Zhelezniak wrote on Telegram.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he was told by U.S. President Joe Biden on April 22 that Biden plans to sign the aid bill "as soon as it is approved by the Senate."

What Ukraine lost while waiting for the US aid bill to pass
The long-awaited passing of the U.S. aid bill in the House of Representatives over the weekend was swiftly followed by a collective sigh of relief in Ukraine and among the country’s allies. But frustration at the delays caused by political infighting in Congress has not completely subsided, as
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