A narrowly divided U.S. Senate moved closer to passing a $95.34 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan on Sunday, showing undiminished bipartisanship despite opposition from Republican hardliners and Donald Trump.
The Democratic-led Senate voted 67-27 in a rare Sunday session to clear the latest procedural hurdle and moved the foreign aid measure toward an ultimate vote on passage in the coming days.
The money is viewed as crucial by Kyiv, as it grinds toward the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But Senate passage would send the bill on to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where it faces an uncertain future.
Eighteen Republicans backed the legislation after Trump, the dominant Republican White House candidate, criticized the bill on social media by saying that the foreign aid should take the form of a loan. Trump also sparked exasperation at home and abroad by saying he would encourage aggression against NATO allies who do not pay their dues to the alliance.
Ahead of Sunday's vote, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell chided those who he said would disregard U.S. global interests, bemoan American leadership and lament international commitments.
"This is idle work for idle minds, and it has no place in the United States Senate," McConnell said. "American leadership matters. And it is in question."
Read more on FRANCE 24 English
Senate Republicans block bipartisan package pairing US border security with aid for Ukraine, Israel
Trump urges Republicans to reject Senate deal on border measures, Ukraine aid
US senators unveil $118.3 billion funding bill for Ukraine, Israel and border