Ukraine, Israel and TikTok: What's in the US Congress's big plan

Ukraine, Israel and TikTok: What's in the US Congress's big plan

The US House of Representatives will vote on Saturday on a major aid plan for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, in addition to a possible ban on the social media network TikTok.

• Read also: United States: Saturday vote in the House of Representatives on aid to Ukraine

• Read also: The US Congress is once again considering a ban on TikTok

An update on this $95 billion envelope divided into four texts, and the bizarre amendments parliamentarians are trying to attach to it.

Ukraine

Nearly $61 billion, the majority of the planned funds, has been allocated for the war in Ukraine. This money has been requested for months by President Volodymyr Zelensky, who asserts that without this amount “Ukraine will lose” the conflict with Russia.

The United States is Kiev's main military backer, but Congress has not approved a major package for its ally since December 2022, mainly due to partisan differences.

This aid was distributed through 2023, but the taps have now dried up.

The text presented Wednesday provides for approximately $14 billion to train, equip and pay the salaries of the Ukrainian army.

About $10 billion in economic aid allocated to the energy and infrastructure sectors will be sent in the form of a loan.

The idea was proposed by Donald Trump, who believes that the United States should “stop giving out money without the expectation of getting it back.” However, this debt may be erased.

A large portion of the envelope will also be used to replenish US Army stocks and will return to weapons factories in the United States.

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The aid plan also allows President Biden to seize and sell Russian assets, so they can be used to finance the reconstruction of Ukraine – an idea that is also gaining more ground with other G7 countries.

Israel

The plan discussed in Congress provides for $13 billion in military aid to Israel, a historic ally of the United States, in a state of war with Hamas.

These funds will be used in particular to strengthen Israel's anti-missile shield, Iron Dome.

More than $9 billion is also planned “to respond to the urgent need for humanitarian assistance in Gaza and other vulnerable populations around the world,” according to the text summary.

However, the project prohibits any direct funding from the United States to the United Nations refugee agency for Palestine, UNRWA. Israel accuses some of its employees of involvement in the October 7 attack carried out by Hamas.

Taiwan, TikTok

As Joe Biden requested, this text allocates more than $8 billion to stand up to China militarily by investing in submarines, and at the economic level by competing with major Chinese projects in developing developing countries.

Several billion dollars have been allocated to Taiwan, an island with a population of 23 million that China considers one of its provinces.

The bill also provides for TikTok to be banned in the United States if the social network does not cut ties with its parent company, ByteDance, and more broadly with China.

TikTok has been in the crosshairs of US authorities for months, with many officials believing the short and entertaining video platform allows Beijing to spy on and manipulate its 170 US users.

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Generous modifications

This huge circumstance, resulting from compromise between Democrats and Republicans, has been harshly criticized by more conservative elected officials, advocates of a kind of isolationism. In protest, they put forward a series of far-fetched amendments… which have no chance of being adopted.

Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, known as one of the elected officials closest to Donald Trump, has introduced an amendment that would force any elected representative in Congress who supports the aid plan for Kiev to join the Ukrainian military.

“If you want to fund endless wars abroad, you have to go and fight,” the parliamentarian said in a post on X.

In response, Democrat Jared Moskowitz introduced an amendment to rename fellow Trump's office “Neville Chamberlain” — a reference to the British prime minister, one of the parties to the 1938 Munich Accords.

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About the Author: Hermínio Guimarães

"Introvertido premiado. Viciado em mídia social sutilmente charmoso. Praticante de zumbis. Aficionado por música irritantemente humilde."

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