Vladimir Putin, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Borodianka
Vladimir Putin (left), Volodymyr Zelenskyy (right), and bombed out Ukrainian town Borodianka. Photo credit: a href="" target="_blank">President of Russia / Wikimedia (CC BY 4.0), President Of Ukraine / Flickr, and © Paul Grover/i-Images via ZUMA Press.

While the fate of the legislation providing aid to Ukraine is uncertain once it reaches the House, today’s vote is a bit of a blow to Donald Trump.

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In the early morning hours Tuesday, the US Senate, with broad bipartisan support, passed a $95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. 

While the fate of the legislation in the House is uncertain, today’s vote is a bit of a blow to Donald Trump.

The former president had been trying to torpedo any deal that would make it easier for Ukraine to defend itself against Russia. And just this weekend, the former president suggested that he would allow Putin to attack certain NATO countries even though the charter of the alliance clearly states that if that were to happen, all members must assist the country being attacked.

Overall, 22 Republicans joined most Democrats in passing the legislation. 

Two Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) voted against the aid package, mainly because they object to the heavy-handed approach Israel is taking in its attack of the Gaza Strip. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was ecstatic about the Senate’s move and expressed his gratitude to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and his Republican counterpart Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “For us in Ukraine, continued US assistance helps to save human lives from Russian terror. It means that life will continue in our cities and will triumph over war. American assistance brings just peace in Ukraine closer and restores global stability, resulting in increased security and prosperity for all Americans and all the free world.”

Passage of the bill is a setback for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had hoped to keep additional US weapons and munitions and other aid out of Ukraine to give his invasion of the country a greater chance of success. And he seemed to have plenty of allies in the US in his effort to stymie aid, first and foremost Trump. 

While the vote clearly is a rebuke of the former president, Senate Republicans have always been a bit less indulgent of Trump’s whims and crazy statements. However, that does not hold true in the House, which is almost completely loyal to the former president. Under ordinary circumstances, this aid package would pass the House with equally bipartisan support. However, with Republicans either enamored with or afraid of Trump, the future of the aid package hangs in the balance. 

A vote in favor of Ukraine and against Putin could easily result in a primary challenge and end the careers of GOP lawmakers willing to stick their necks out. In addition, it stands to reason that there will also be more Democratic defectors in the House, primarily over how the regime of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has indiscriminately waged a war that has cost the lives of tens of thousands of Palestinians. 

House Speaker Mike Johnson has indicated that the only way this aid bill could pass would be if it were tied to border security legislation. There’s just one problem: When bipartisan Senate negotiators put together such a compromise, it was Johnson who sank it. 


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a senior editor for Politics and director of the Mentor Apprentice Program at WhoWhatWhy. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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