Biden Signs $95 Billion Foreign Aid Bill Into Law
Biden Signs $95 Billion Foreign Aid Bill Into Law

By T.J. Muscaro

Just 12 hours after the Senate gave its late-night approval, President Joe Biden signed the contentious $95 billion national security package that sends more foreign aid to Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific. The legislation also includes a measure that forces TikTok to sever ties with its Chinese parent company and authorizes the seizure of Russian assets to further fund Ukraine’s war effort.

“America stands with our friends; we stand up against dictators,” President Biden told reporters after signing the legislation. “We bow to no one, to no one. Certainly not Vladimir Putin.”

“It’s an investment in our own security because when our allies are stronger, we are stronger.”

The president stated that he would ensure that the shipment to Ukraine begins immediately. In just a matter of hours, he said, the United States will start sending equipment to Ukraine for air defense munitions, artillery, rocket systems, and armored vehicles.

President Biden also touched on the aid being sent to Israel and Gaza.

“With this aid, the United States can help replenish Israel’s air defense and provide other critical defense so Iran can never carry out the destruction it intended with its attack 10 days ago,” he said.

President Biden noted that it includes $1 billion for humanitarian aid in Gaza, stating that “everything we do is guided by a goal of bringing hostages home, securing a cease-fire, and setting the conditions for an enduring peace.”

“Israel must make sure all this aid reaches the Palestinians in Gaza without delay,” he said.

The House passed the package on April 20; it was split up into four separate bills with bipartisan support over the objections of the GOP’s right flank.

The House voted 311–112 to give Ukraine another $61 billion in aid, 366–58 in favor of providing $26.4 billion for Israel and humanitarian aid for Gaza, 385–34 in favor of providing $8.1 billion for the Indo-Pacific and Taiwanese security, and 360–58 in favor of ordering the Chinese divestment of TikTok and the allowance of the seizure of Russian assets.

“Remember this moment,” President Biden said. “For all the talk about how dysfunctional things are in Washington, when you look over the past three years, see that time and again on the critical issues we’ve actually come together.”

Three days after the House approved the package, the Senate passed the legislation in a 79–18 vote.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the Senate, President Biden, and the American people on social media platform X for their continued support, stating: “Ukraine’s long-range capabilities, artillery, and air defense are critical tools for restoring just peace sooner.

“I thank Majority Leader Chuck Schumer [D-N.Y.] and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell [R-Ky.] for their strong leadership in advancing this bipartisan legislation, as well as all US Senators on both sides of the aisle who voted in favor of it.

“This vote reinforces America’s role as a beacon of democracy and the leader of the free world.”

Mr. McConnell appeared on Fox News on the morning after the bill’s passing and emphasized the importance of defending Ukraine. He criticized President Biden, saying that the withdrawal from Afghanistan “was like sending a green light” to Mr. Putin. He also said that the United States didn’t give Ukraine “sufficient weaponry” fast enough.

The Senate vote saw 15 Republicans, two Democrats, Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) voting against it.

Sen. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) told The Epoch Times that he is “sympathetic” to the causes of Taiwan, Ukraine, and Israel but that the United States should have focused on a fourth border—its own—in that package.

“It doesn’t deal with that,” he said. “And that’s the problem, which is that we’re dealing with three other countries’ border issues and not our own.”

Mr. McConnell sided with his fellow Republicans, calling the border crisis “an unmitigated disaster for this administration and for our country.”

However, he also believes that the United States does not have to choose between securing the border and providing foreign aid.

“We can walk and chew gum at the same time,” Mr. McConnell said. “We ought to be able to fix that border, as well as help democratically elected countries around the world stand up to the Chinese, the Russians, and the Iranians.”

President Biden addressed the fact that border security was not in the bill and blamed Congress for not getting it done.

“Just this year, I proposed and negotiated and agreed to the strongest border security bill this country has ever seen,” he said. “It was bipartisan. It should have been included in this bill. And I’m determined to get it done for the American people.”

The president took no questions and rushed off to a speaking engagement at the North America’s Building Trades Unions National Legislative Conference.

Samantha Flom, Joseph Lord, and Stacy Robinson contributed to this report.

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