The US Senate has passed a $95.3 billion spending package containing aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan despite objections from Republican lawmakers. It still awaits approval from the House of Representatives, which is currently controlled by Republicans, many of whom are Ukraine-skeptics.
The bill includes $60 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel, $8 billion for Taiwan and other Indo-Pacific allies, and $9.2 billion in humanitarian assistance for Gazans. A cohort of border watchdog groups led by the conservative Heritage Foundation have warned that the bill includes a so-called poison pill to make border enforcement nearly impossible. In a letter sent to Congress members, they wrote:
The legislative text would not end “catch and release.” Instead, it would replace current statutory mandatory detention with a mass release program of weaker discretionary “monitoring,” intentionally undermining the capacity for removal, per DHS’s own enforcement reports. The bill would not close loopholes weaponized by cartels to recycle children with fake families as a means of release for adults. The bill was advertised as empowering a future administration with new authorities but instead, it would severely limit executive authority to take aggressive enforcement steps.
The final vote in the Senate was 70-29. Members of the Republican Party who voted against the package, such as Josh Hawley (MO), Mike Lee (UT), and J.D. Vance (OH), represent a new wing of the Republican Party that takes a principled stance against intervening in foreign wars unless strictly necessary. Yet the war in Ukraine has become so unpopular that even pro-interventionist lawmakers like Lindsey Graham (SC) voted against it.
Meanwhile, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer commended the package and subtly chastised the dissenters, saying, “The entire world is going to remember what the Senate does in the next few days. Nothing—nothing—would make Putin happier right now than to see Congress waver in its support for Ukraine; nothing would help him more on the battlefield.”
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly made support for Ukraine his primary focus in the last few months and unwaveringly opposes the populist backlash. “History settles every account,” he said in a statement after the vote. “And today, on the value of American leadership and strength, history will record that the Senate did not blink.”
“For us in Ukraine, continued US assistance helps to save human lives from Russian terror,” commented Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “It means that life will continue in our cities and will triumph over war.”
Shane Devine is a writer covering politics, economics, and culture for Valuetainment. Follow Shane on X (Twitter).