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U.S. Senate 'a little closer each day' to deciding on Ukraine aid - Schumer

U.S. Senate 'a little closer each day' to deciding on Ukraine aid - Schumer Photo: U.S. Senate moves forward on aid to Ukraine (
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The U.S. Senate is continuing discussions on passing an aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan and strengthening security on the U.S. southern border, according to Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

"Right now, Senate negotiators on both sides are working furiously to approve another round of Ukraine aid by finalizing our national security supplemental package... Each day we get a little closer, but there are still issues to be resolved. But one thing is certain: we are going to keep going to get this done," he says.

In his speech in the Senate, Schumer reminds that the last package of defense aid to Ukraine worth $250 million was announced almost a month ago, and since then the U.S. government has not been able to send any support to Kyiv due to the lack of funding approved by Congress.

According to him, since the beginning of the war, Putin has been betting that sooner or later the United States will surrender. "They doubt Western resolve. They doubt American strength... The Senate has an obligation to make sure Putin regrets the day he questions America’s resolve...We have an obligation to answer the call to defend democracy in its hour of need. We have an obligation to help our friends fighting for their survival. We must – must – finish the work on the supplemental. We are not there yet, but we will continue working," he says.

Meanwhile, in his speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, criticizes President Joe Biden "for not doing more sooner to give our friends a decisive edge against Putin’s aggression, and for not investing more seriously in rebuilding America’s military strength."

"But I’ve never been under any delusion about why America was backing Ukraine’s fight. This has never been about charity.“It is in the United States’ direct interest for authoritarians not to feel free to redraw maps by force. It’s in our interest to help degrade the military of a major adversary without committing American lives to the effort," McConnell says.

Assistance to Ukraine

As a reminder, the White House's supplemental request of $106 billion for national security includes funding for border security, as well as nearly $14 billion in aid to Israel and funding for Taiwan to combat the threat from China. The request includes $61 billion for Ukraine.

Senate Republicans have conditioned approval of any additional money for Ukraine on simultaneously tightening immigration rules to reduce illegal crossings of the southern border of the United States and deporting those already in the country.

Even if an agreement is reached in the Senate, it may not be supported by the House of Representatives, where Republicans control the majority. Negotiations on these bills have been ongoing since October last year.