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Debate heats up over Washington's military aid for Kyiv

By HENG WEILI in New York | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-02-17 06:55

The recent passage of a bill in the US Senate largely to support Ukraine is meeting continued resistance in the House of Representatives and on social media.

House Speaker Mike Johnson said he does not plan to take up the Senate bill. "The Republican-led House will not be jammed or forced into passing a foreign aid bill," Johnson said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Biden, in remarks on Tuesday, said that while the weaponry would help Ukraine, the money would be spent in the United States "in places like Arizona, where the Patriot missiles are built; and Alabama, where the Javelin missiles are built; and Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas, where artillery shells are made".

On Tuesday, the Democrat-controlled Senate approved a $95.3 billion bill in a 70-29 vote that would send $60 billion more in aid to Ukraine.

The battle lines over foreign aid show a deepening divide among US politicians and citizens, with those opposed arguing that the money should go toward securing the border and helping US citizens economically. Those in favor of foreign aid have contended it is necessary to maintain the US position on the global stage.

"This spending does not help Ukraine; prolonging the war does not help Ukraine," X owner Elon Musk said during an event. "Having these boys die for nothing is wrong and needs to stop."

"This spending bill funnels $60 billion (on top of the previous $113 billion) directly into the coffers of a notoriously corrupt regime," Senator Rand Paul wrote on X. "One of the many egregious allocations of your hard-earned money: $300 million to 'help Ukraine protect its borders and promote the rule of law'."

Former US president Donald Trump, whom many in Washington say is behind the House's opposition to the Senate bill, said on Wednesday at a campaign stop in South Carolina: "They want to give them $60 billion more. Do it this way. Loan them the money. If they can make it, they pay us back. If they can't make it, they don't have to pay us back."

Agencies contributed to this story.

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