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By Ben Johnson
The Washington Stand

Members of Congress chanted “Ukraine!” and waved a sea of rippling, blue-and-gold flags across the House floor, as the House of Representatives approved a massive $95 billion foreign aid package that benefits Ukraine, Taiwan, and both sides of the Israel-Hamas war.

The aid package contained approximately $61 billion in additional funding for Ukraine’s war against Russia, which supporters say will pay for the military’s next year of efforts. The bill also contains $26 billion for Israel, $9 billion of which is constituted as “humanitarian aid” for the Gaza Strip. The Awdah Palestinian TV, owned by the Fatah Party, accused Gaza’s Hamas-controlled government of stealing and absconding with food and other vital supplies intended for its citizens “to their own homes.” The package also contains $8 billion for the “Indo-Pacific” region, primarily Taiwan.

The bill passed the House on Saturday by a 311-112 vote. While Democrats voted unanimously in favor of the bill, a majority of Republicans opposed additional aid (112-101). One congressman, Rep. Daniel Meuser (R-Pa.), voted present. The Democrat-controlled Senate is expected to pass the bill on Tuesday.

Raucous congressmen began chanting, “Ukraine! Ukraine!” and waving foreign flags in the lower chamber of the U.S. people’s House immediately upon the bill’s passage, putting off critics of continued aid. “Too much Ukraine. Not enough USA,” remarked Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah).

The only member of the House born in Ukraine, Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.), voted against sending more aid to her homeland, saying she would only vote to forward additional aid if it came with tighter oversight and provisions to secure the U.S. border. This aid package continues the Biden administration’s policy of “blank checks and slush funds,” Spartz declared on the House floor. “Unfortunately, this strategy has failed the American people. Biden has failed the American people.”

“If we don’t have proper oversight, we are not going to achieve our goals,” said Spartz earlier this month. “We cannot have these never-ending wars.”

House Republicans hoped to at least secure additional border enforcement from the aid package, but the measure failed to get the necessary two-thirds supermajority to be included in this bill.

House Democrats deemed the measure unnecessary. “Some say, ‘Well, we have to deal with our border first.’ The Ukrainian-Russian border is our border,” declared Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-Va.).

Ultimately, insiders familiar with the process say, the Ukrainian aid package “would not have passed without Donald Trump.” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told “Fox News Sunday” that “President Trump has created a loan component to this package that gives us leverage down the road.”

The legislation allows the U.S. to ask Ukraine to repay $10 billion in aid. But Ukraine is not expected to pay back U.S. taxpayers.

Controversially, the bill gives the president the ability to absolve Ukraine of half of that remaining $10 billion debt after the next presidential election but before the next president takes office.

“The ‘loan’ for Ukraine is all smoke and mirrors,” Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) posted on the social media platform X. “It allows the president to cancel up to 50% of funds owed after November 15, 2024, and all remaining funds owed after January 1, 2026. No bank would allow this.” Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) dismissed the loan as “a joke.”

The deepening fissure within Republican ranks had been signaled during a procedural, rules vote on Friday. “What was significant about it is that the Democrats actually joined Republicans in voting in favor of the bill,” reporter Victoria Marshall told “Washington Watch” guest host Joseph Backholm shortly after that tally.

That bipartisan support may have cost Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) vital support among his own House caucus, as Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) doubled down on their threat to vacate the chair, terminating Speaker Johnson’s short and embattled tenure in office. Observers say that could result in a unified Democratic caucus overpowering a fractured Republican bloc to hand far-Left Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) the speaker’s gavel — and its attendant powers to move, or block, legislation.

“One of the things that’ll be interesting to track is how this plays in the Republican caucus that Speaker Johnson continues to try to hold together,” said Backholm on Friday. This weekend’s vote holds “lots of political ramifications for him personally and certainly for the caucus, as they head into November.”

Alongside the aid package, Congress passed the REPO Act, which allows the Biden administration to freeze, seize, and redistribute an estimated $6 billion in Russian assets, sending the proceeds to Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has already promised “retaliatory actions and legal proceedings” if Washington follows through with its threat.

An ebullient Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told “Meet the Press” the fresh injection of U.S. taxpayer funds gives his nation “a chance for victory” over Russia. Likewise, CIA Director William Burns insisted the additional resources were aimed at “puncturing Putin’s arrogant view that time is on his side” during a speech at the Bush Center Forum on Leadership in Dallas on Thursday.

But military experts say Ukraine’s defeat is inevitable.

“This aid does not enable Ukraine to win the battle,” Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst now with the America First Policy Institute, told Newsmax TV on Monday morning. “It simply keeps Ukraine in the fight.”

“The best option, which Zelensky and Biden won’t talk about, is to end the war — to start a ceasefire and a process to end the killing,” said Fleitz. “Because Ukraine will eventually lose this war of attrition.”

Originally published at The Washington Stand!




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