The Senate overwhelmingly approved a $40 billion aid package to send military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine on Thursday.
The final vote was 86-11, showing bipartisan support for the bill.
The Dallas Express reported earlier this week that President Biden asked for $29 billion in aid, but the House of Representatives increased that number to $40 billion before passing the bill last week.
Biden asked for $20.5 billion in military aid and $8.5 billion in humanitarian and economic assistance in the bill’s original form. Reuters reports the House of Representatives added $11 billion for Biden to use via “Presidential Drawdown Authority,” which allows him to authorize the transfer of articles and services from U.S. stocks without congressional approval in an emergency.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer noted, “This is a large package, and it will meet the large needs of the Ukrainian people as they fight for their survival,” Schumer said.
Despite the bipartisan nature of the vote, all 11 “nay” votes came from Republicans. The most prominent opponent of the bill has been Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. He successfully delayed the vote last week on procedural grounds.
“We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy,” Paul said during the Senate debate.
“Gasoline alone is up 48%, and energy prices are up 32% over the last year,” he continued. “Food prices have increased by nearly 9%. Used vehicle prices are up 35% for the year, and new vehicle prices have increased 12% or more.”
Former President Trump also weighed in on the vote on Friday, saying, “The Democrats are sending another $40 billion to Ukraine, yet America’s parents are struggling to even feed their children.”
A recent poll by Morning Consultant shows the number of Republican voters who feel the U.S. is doing too much for Ukraine has doubled from 13% to 27%.
In contrast, Biden praised Congress for the move.
“I applaud the Congress for sending a clear bipartisan message to the world that the people of the United States stand together with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their democracy and freedom.”
Andriy Yermak, chief of staff for President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, took to Twitter to thank the Senate shortly after the vote.
“Thanks U.S. Senate for the historic decision to provide $40 billion aid package to [Ukraine]. Together, we’ll win,” Yermak posted.
Thanks US Senate for the historic decision to provide $40 billion aid package to 🇺🇦. Together, we'll win.
— Andriy Yermak (@AndriyYermak) May 19, 2022
The bill now heads to Biden’s desk, where it is expected that he will waste no time signing it.
Donald Trump and Rand Paul have been last seen in Putin’s hip pocket.