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House of Representatives votes on aid plans for Ukraine and Israel

Photo: J. Scott Applewhite Associated Press A Ukraine supporter stands near the Capitol in Washington as the US Congress prepares to vote on $95 billion in financial aid to the country at war with Russia.

Camille Camdessus – Agence France-Presse in Washington

Posted at 1:57 p.m. Updated at 2:20 p.m.

  • United States

After long and difficult negotiations, the American House of Representatives adopted on Saturday a huge aid plan for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, supported by elected officials from both sides.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whose country is at war with Russia, immediately welcomed assistance which “will save thousands and thousands of lives”.

American parliamentarians voted in quick succession on this gigantic envelope of 95 billion dollars, requested for months by President Joe Biden.

The text on Ukraine provides 61 billion to help kyiv against Russia; that on Israel includes several billion dollars to strengthen the Israeli anti-missile shield, called “Iron Dome”.

American elected officials also voted on a text to stand up to China and help Taiwan, and adopted a measure issuing an ultimatum to TikTok, which provides for the ban of the application in the United States unless the network social cuts its ties with its parent company ByteDance, and more broadly with China.

In the hemicycle, parliamentarians waved Ukrainian flags as a sign of support for kyiv, to the jeers of Trumpist elected officials.

The texts should be quickly examined by the Senate, which could consider the measures as early as Tuesday, indicated the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, Chuck Schumer.

It is the result of months of acrimonious negotiations, the comings and goings of the Ukrainian president in Washington and pressure from allies around the world.

Tug of war between Biden and Trump

At the heart of all tensions: the financing of the war in Ukraine.

The United States is kyiv's main military supporter, but Congress has not passed a major package for its ally in nearly a year and a half — mainly due to partisan wrangling.

Democratic President Joe Biden and his party in Congress are very supportive of new aid for Ukraine, at war with Russia.

But the Republicans, led by Donald Trump, are increasingly reluctant to finance a conflict that is getting bogged down.

In the middle of an election year, the issue turned into a remote duel between the two presidential candidates.

After months of procrastination, House Republican Leader Mike Johnson finally gave his support to the $61 billion package for Ukraine.

“To put it bluntly: I would rather send ammunition to Ukraine than send our boys to fight,” he pleaded, not without some emotion, during a press conference.

This aid plan — primarily military and economic assistance — also authorizes President Biden to confiscate and sell Russian assets to be used to finance the reconstruction of Ukraine.

Israel, Gaza, TikTok

Among the other parts of the big plan: 13 billion dollars in military assistance to the historic ally of the United States, Israel, at war with Hamas.

More than nine billion dollars are also planned to “respond to the urgent need for humanitarian aid in Gaza and other vulnerable populations around the world”, according to a summary of the text.< /p>

As Joe Biden had demanded, this bill devotes eight billion dollars to stand up to China militarily and come to the aid of Taiwan.

She also foresees a threat of a ban on TikTok in the United States.

The video platform is accused of allowing Beijing to spy on and manipulate its 170 million users in the United States.

Johnson, on an ejection seat

The Biden administration said it was “very supportive” of all of these measures.

The president's spokesperson, Karine Jean-Pierre, also indicated on Friday that the flow of American aid to Ukraine would resume “immediately” after the adoption of this text by the two chambers of Congress.

The adoption of this package would allow the allies of the United States to breathe a sigh of relief.

But it could, however, cost Republican leader Mike Johnson his job: a handful of conservative elected officials, fiercely opposed to aid to Ukraine, have promised to do everything to remove the “speaker” in order to punish him for his support.

His predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, had already been dismissed last year after a rebellion by the Trumpist wing of his party, which accused him of a “secret agreement” with the Democrats on the Ukraine.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116