War in Ukraine: US House of Representatives adopts $61 billion aid plan for kyiv

War in Ukraine: US House of Representatives adopts $61 billion aid plan for kyiv

Le Congrès américain était appelé à se prononcer ce samedi 20 avril sur une aide à l’Ukraine. ILLUSTRATION MAXPPP – Alexandre MARCHI

The House of Representatives voted for an envelope of 61 billion dollars to help Ukraine in its war against Russia.

After long and difficult negotiations, the American House of Representatives adopted this Saturday, April 20, an enormous aid plan for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, supported by elected from both sides.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whose country is at war with Russia, immediately welcomed assistance which "will save thousands and thousands of lives&quot ;.

American parliamentarians voted in quick succession on this gigantic envelope of 95 billion dollars, requested for months by President Joe Biden.

The text on Ukraine provides 61 billion to come to the aid of kyiv against Russia ; that on Israel includes several billion dollars to notably strengthen the Israeli anti-missile shield, called "Iron Dome".

American elected officials also voted for a text to stand up to China and help Taiwan, and adopted a measure issuing an ultimatum to TikTok, which provides for the ban on ;application in the United States unless the social network cuts its ties with its parent company ByteDance, and more broadly with China.

In the hemicycle, parliamentarians waved Ukrainian flags as a sign of support for kyiv, to the jeers of Trumpist elected officials.

The texts should be quickly examined by the Senate, which could consider the measures as early as Tuesday, indicated the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, Chuck Schumer. It is the result of months of acrimonious negotiations, comings and goings of the Ukrainian president in Washington and pressure from allies around the world.

Tug of war between Biden and Trump

At the heart of all tensions: the financing of the war in Ukraine. The United States is kyiv's main military backer, but Congress has not passed a large package for its ally in nearly a year and a half – – mainly due to partisan bickering.

Democratic President Joe Biden and his party in Congress are very supportive of new aid for Ukraine, at war with Russia. But the Republicans, led by Donald Trump, are increasingly reluctant to finance a conflict which is getting bogged down. In the middle of an election year, the issue turned into a remote duel between the two presidential candidates.

After months of procrastination, the Republican leader of the House, Mike Johnson, ended up supporting the $61 billion package for Ukraine. "To put it bluntly: I'd rather send munitions to Ukraine than send our boys to fight&quot ;, he pleaded, not without a certain emotion, during a press conference.

This aid plan – mainly military and economic assistance – also authorizes President Biden to confiscate and sell Russian assets to finance the reconstruction of Ukraine.

Israel, Gaza, TikTok

Among other parts of the grand plan: $13 billion in military assistance to America's historic ally, Israel, at war with Hamas .

More than nine billion dollars are also planned to "respond to the urgent need for humanitarian aid in Gaza and other vulnerable populations around the world", according to a summary of the text.

As Joe Biden had demanded, this bill devotes eight billion dollars to stand up to China militarily and come to the aid of Taiwan.

She also foresees a threat of banning TikTok in the United States.

The video platform is accused of allowing Beijing to spy on and manipulate its 170 million users in the United States.

Johnson, on an ejection seat

The Biden administration said it was "very supportive" to all these measures. The president's spokesperson, Karine Jean-Pierre, also indicated on Friday that the flow of American aid to Ukraine would resume "immediately" after the adoption of this text by both houses of Congress.

The adoption of this envelope would allow the allies of the United States to breathe a big sigh of relief. But it could, on the other hand, cost Republican leader Mike Johnson his job: a handful of conservative elected officials, fiercely opposed to aid to Ukraine, have promised to do everything to dismiss the ’ ;quot;speaker" in order to punish him for his support.

His predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, had already been dismissed last year after a rebellion by the Trumpist wing of his party, which accused him of a "secret agreement" with the Democrats on Ukraine.

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