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US Senate Democrats block bill to aid Israel without Ukraine support

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 7, 2023 10:36 PM 2 min read
The U.S. House of Representatives and Capitol Dome on May 28, 2023 in Washington, D.C. (Anna Rose Layden/Getty Images)
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Democrats in the U.S. Senate on Nov. 7 blocked a Republican-sponsored bill to provide emergency aid for Israel without sending any funds to Ukraine, Reuters reported.

The bill, which was passed by the Republican-led House of Representatives last week, came under criticism from Democrats for delaying support for Kyiv and for politicizing the conflict in Israel.

"Our allies in Ukraine can no more afford a delay than our allies in Israel," said Democratic Senator Patty Murray, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Several weeks ago, the White House presented a broad funding package of $105 billion that tied together $61 billion in aid for Ukraine with around $14 billion for Israel, as well as other items.

This plan encountered opposition from House Republicans and recently appointed Speaker Mike Johnson, who said that backing Tel Aviv in its fight against Hamas takes priority and proposed a stand-alone funding bill for Israel.

To become law, the bill would have to pass both the House and the Senate and be signed by President Joe Biden, who said he would veto the bill if passed by Congress.

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Representative Mike Johnson, elected speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 25, has been deemed bad news for Ukraine. Johnson regularly voted against aid for Ukraine and was backed by the Ukraine-skeptic hard-right in his bid for speakership after the weeks-long scramble to replace th…

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