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Senate passes $95 billion foreign aid package, including potential TikTok ban

The Senate already cleared one hurdle earlier Tuesday, by voting to end the filibuster on the foreign aid package in a 80-19 vote.

Published: April 23, 2024 9:44pm

Updated: April 23, 2024 10:39pm

The Senate voted to pass a major $95 billion foreign aid package late Tuesday night, marking a major achievement for Congress and securing funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, as well as including a provision to ban TikTok in the U.S.

The measure passed 79-18.

Congress has been at a standstill over additional funding for Ukraine, and other funding for Israel and Taiwan, with many Republicans holding out until there was substantial legislation for the southern border crisis. But the House passed three bills on Saturday that include $61 billion for Ukraine, $26 billion for Israel, and $8.1 billion in aid for Taiwan.

The Senate cleared one hurdle earlier Tuesday, by voting to end the filibuster on the foreign aid package in a 80-19 vote. That teed up the final vote on Tuesday night. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, praised the end of the filibuster, claiming that Republicans had "turned the corner" on the aid package.

"If you're looking for a trend I think it's a trend in the direction that I would like to see us go, which is America steps up to its leadership role in the world and does what it needs to do," McConnell said in a press conference, per ABC News. "I think we've turned the corner on the isolationist movement. I've noticed how uncomfortable proponents of that are when you call them isolationists. I think we've made some progress and I think it's going to have to continue."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also praised the end of the filibuster, telling Israel and Ukraine that help was "on the way."

"A lot of people inside and outside the Congress wanted this package to fail. But today, those in Congress who stand on the side of democracy are winning the day," Schumer said after the procedural votes Tuesday afternoon. "To our friends in Ukraine, to our allies in NATO, to our allies in Israel, and to civilians around the world in need of help -- help is on the way."

The Senate has passed a $95 billion aid package before, but this time it has already passed the House of Representatives with some minor changes to the bills. The most notable were making some Ukraine funding in the form of loans and changes to the Taiwan bill, which included a way for the United States to ban the app TikTok nationwide, according to the Associated Press.

President Joe Biden praised the passage of the foreign aid package, and said he would sign the legislation as soon as it reaches his desk on Wednesday. He is also expected to deliver short remarks on the passage when signing it.

“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,” Biden said in a statement. “I want to thank Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, and all of the bipartisan lawmakers in the Senate who voted for this bill. This critical legislation will make our nation and world more secure as we support our friends who are defending themselves against terrorists like Hamas and tyrants like Putin.”

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