Senate passes $95 billion aid package for U.S. allies, with Manchin and Capito voting in favor

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed $95 billion legislation for weapons and support to American allies, with Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito voting in favor.

The package also includes legislation to ban or force a sale of TikTok because of concerns over the video-sharing platform’s Chinese ownership.

Joe Manchin

“American leadership means standing with our allies and standing up against authoritarianism. I am proud to vote for this national security package that advances America’s interests both on the world stage and right here at home,” said Manchin, D-W.Va.

Elements of the foreign aid package have been swirling for months. President Joe Biden last October proposed a $106 billion package including aid for Ukraine and Israel and additional financial support for border security.

In February, a majority of the Senate voted in favor of aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. The House of Representatives finally passed the package on Saturday. Now it goes to President Biden to sign.

Shelley Moore Capito

“Our nation is facing the most dangerous global threat level we have seen in decades. Our allies are under attack, our national security industrial base has been weakened, TikTok poses a major national security threat, and adversaries like China, Russia, and Iran are working together in unprecedented ways against the U.S. and our allies like Israel.

“Tonight, we are taking a stand against all of these dangers, in the vacuum of leadership from a president who has refused to establish strong deterrence,” Capito, R-W.Va. said in a statement released by her office. Tonight, we stand for our freedom and with our allies.”

In the House vote on Saturday, Congresswoman Carol Miller, R-W.Va., voted in favor of the foreign aid package as she had previously said she would do. Miller represents counties in the southern half of West Virginia.

Congressman Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., was listed as “not voting” on the legislation considered Saturday afternoon. Mooney represents counties in the northern half of West Virginia.

Mooney, who is running for U.S. Senate, spent Saturday at campaign stops around West Virginia.

Mooney’s congressional office said Saturday, “Congressman Mooney was in West Virginia today and not present in DC for votes. Rep. Mooney already voted twice to support Israel funding and continues to strongly support our ally Israel. Rep. Mooney believes funding for other countries should only be considered when our own border with Mexico is secured first.”

The legislation now passed provides $17 billion in weapons for Israel and about $9 billion of humanitarian assistance for Gaza and elsewhere.

Another $8.1 billion in aid for Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region is meant to counteract the influence of China.

The $60 billion aid package for Ukraine is meant to help that country’s effort against invading Russia. Most of the money goes to U.S. weapons manufacturers to build back depleted U.S. weapons supplies, and about 20 percent of that goes directly to the country in the form of a loan.

One of the manufacturers of munitions providing that support is Northrop Grumman’s Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (ABL) in Rocket Center, Mineral County. Allegany Ballistics Laboratory produces solid rocket motors and other key components for critical munitions.

The facility is in Mooney’s district.

Capito said she is pleased that a state manufacturer and employer could benefit from the aid package.

“The national security supplemental we passed expands the capacity of our industrial base and restocks American munition stockpiles with newer and more advanced weapons, many of which have critical components manufactured in West Virginia,” Capito noted.

Manchin also noted that much of the money will flow first to American manufacturers.

“By investing in our allies, we are also investing in our own economic interests by creating new jobs to produce weapons here in the United States and reinvigorating our defense industrial base,” Manchin said. “Today, we are demonstrating our commitment to peace through strength and I look forward to seeing the President quickly sign this package into law.”





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