Biden to Sign Aid Package for Ukraine and Israel

President Biden was set to sign a $95.3 billion package of aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan on Wednesday, reaffirming U.S. support for Kyiv in the fight against Russia’s military assault after months of congressional gridlock put the centerpiece of the White House’s foreign policy in jeopardy.

The Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve the package on Tuesday night, a sign of bipartisan support after increasingly divisive politics raised questions on Capitol Hill and among U.S. allies over whether the United States would continue to back Kyiv. The 79-to-18 vote provided Mr. Biden another legislative accomplishment to point to, even in the face of an obstructionist House.

“Congress has passed my legislation to strengthen our national security and send a message to the world about the power of American leadership: We stand resolutely for democracy and freedom, and against tyranny and oppression,” Mr. Biden said on Tuesday evening, just minutes after the Senate vote.

He said he would sign the bill into law and address the American people on Wednesday “so we can begin sending weapons and equipment to Ukraine this week.”

The White House first sent a request for the security package in October, and officials have bluntly acknowledged that the six-month delay put Ukraine at a disadvantage in its fight against Russia.

“The Russians have slowly but successfully taken more ground from the Ukrainians and pushed them back against their first, second and, in some places, their third line of defense,” John F. Kirby, a spokesman for Mr. Biden’s National Security Council, said on Tuesday on Air Force One. “The short answer is: Yes, there absolutely has been damage in the last several months.”

Still, the passing of the package capped an extraordinary period in Washington. Speaker Mike Johnson had to overcome fierce right-wing opposition to pass it through the House first. The aid is broken up into four pieces: a measure for each of the three U.S. allies and another meant to sweeten the deal for conservatives that includes a provision that could result in a nationwide ban on TikTok.

The bill includes $60.8 billion for Ukraine; $26.4 billion for Israel and humanitarian aid for civilians in conflict zones, including Gaza; and $8.1 billion for the Indo-Pacific region. It also includes sanctions against Iranian and Russian officials.

The House also added a provision that would require the president to seek repayment from the Ukrainian government of $10 billion. The idea to include some of the aid for Ukraine in the form of a loan was another example of the influence former President Donald J. Trump has over Congress. Mr. Trump called to make any future aid to Ukraine a loan.

The White House for six months tried different ways to strike a deal with Mr. Johnson. Officials even agreed to some of the more stringent measures to be enacted at the U.S. border when Mr. Johnson said he would not pass Ukraine aid without border restrictions. But when Mr. Trump denounced that legislation, hoping to withhold an election year victory from Mr. Biden, Republicans followed suit.

But when the Senate passed its own $95 billion emergency aid legislation for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan without any immigration measures, it ramped up pressure on Mr. Johnson.

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