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US House Passes $61 Billion Ukraine Aid Package

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Kabul: In an unusual Saturday session, the US House of Representatives swiftly approved legislation providing military aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. The bills also include provisions to ban TikTok if it fails to divest from its Chinese parent company.

The bipartisan bills received overwhelming support, though they raise questions about the future of House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican, who faces opposition from far-right factions within his party.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the long-awaited aid package, emphasizing its potential to save lives amidst ongoing conflict. However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov criticized the bill, warning it could worsen the situation in Ukraine.

Russian officials expressed concerns about provisions allowing the US to confiscate and transfer seized Russian assets to Ukraine for reconstruction, labeling it as detrimental to US-Russia relations.

The funding package, which includes economic assistance and weaponry, has been a subject of partisan disagreement, particularly influenced by former President Trump’s stance on Ukraine.

House Speaker Johnson, after prolonged deliberation, threw his support behind the aid package, underscoring the importance of supporting Ukraine without risking American lives.

Zelensky expressed gratitude for the House’s decision and hoped for swift passage in the Senate and subsequent approval by President Biden.

The bill also grants Biden authority to confiscate and sell Russian assets to fund Ukraine’s reconstruction, a measure supported by other G7 nations.

The Senate is expected to consider the bill as early as Tuesday, according to Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

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