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Rare bipartisan cooperation passes US House bill providing aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Mike Johnson (R-LA) walks to the House floor from his office prior to a vote on legislation providing $95 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, at Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 20, 2024. (Photo: REUTERS/Ken Cedeno)

The United States House of Representatives on Friday decisively voted 316-94 to advance House Speaker Mike Johnson's proposed $95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

Most of the aid was earmarked to assist Ukraine in the ongoing war with Russia.

The vote constituted a rare moment of bipartisan cooperation in an era where Democratic and Republican lawmakers seem increasingly unable to agree on any issue.

Although bipartisan support for aiding Israel remains strong, some conservative Republican lawmakers have voiced opposition to ongoing assistance for Ukraine.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz thanked both Johnson and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries for passing the aid bill.

Last month, Johnson tried to bring separate aid bills for Israel and Ukraine. However, the White House voiced its opposition to such a legal initiative.

“We would oppose a stand-alone bill that would just work on Israel,” U.S. National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby stated

Johnson recently stressed the importance to assist Ukrainians while they defend their country against Russian aggression. 

“Ukrainians desperately need lethal aid right now… We cannot allow Vladimir Putin to roll through another country and take it,” Johnson said during an interview on The Mark Levin Show.

“These are very serious matters with global implications,” Johnson added, likely referring to the Western perception of Ukraine as a bulwark against further Russian aggression in Europe.

However, Johnson's aid proposal would not have succeeded without crucial bipartisan support. 

“The world is watching what the Congress does,” the White House stated. “Passing this legislation would send a powerful message about the strength of American leadership at a pivotal moment.”

U.S. President Joe Biden recently urged Congress to quickly greenlight military assistance to Ukraine and Israel – a rare endorsement of the Republican House Speaker’s legal initiative. 

“Both Ukraine and Israel are under attack by brazen adversaries that seek their annihilation,” Biden wrote last week in his Wall Street Journal opinion piece.

Biden further emphasized America's need to stand by its allies amid difficult times. 

“Now is not the time to abandon our friends. The House must pass urgent national-security legislation for Ukraine and Israel, as well as desperately needed humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza.” 

He said: “while both countries can capably defend their own sovereignty, they depend on American assistance, including weaponry, to do it.” 

The White House previously greenlighted military aid to Israel, bypassing Congress.

In March, the Biden administration approved the transfer of military equipment worth billions of dollars, which reportedly included an additional 25 fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets for the Israeli Air Force (IAF), as well as over 2,000 bombs of various calibers, including MK-82 500-lb and MK-84 2,000-lb bombs.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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