US House approves Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan aid, threatens TikTok

The U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday approved long-delayed military aid to Ukraine in a rare show of bipartisan unity, while also bolstering Israel and Taiwan defenses and threatening to ban Chinese-owned TikTok.

The four bills in the $95 billion package were overwhelmingly approved in quick succession, though they leave the future of Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson in some doubt as he seeks to fend off angry far-right detractors.

U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement the legislation would "deliver critical support to Israel and Ukraine; provide desperately needed humanitarian aid to Gaza, Sudan, Haiti and other locations... and bolster security and stability in the Indo-Pacific."

He praised lawmakers who came together across party lines "to answer history's call."

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the $61 billion earmarked for his country, saying the military and economic assistance would "save thousands and thousands of lives."

Not surprisingly, Russia took the opposite view.

"It will further enrich the United States of America and ruin Ukraine even more, by killing even more Ukrainians because of the Kiev regime," said presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, state news agency TASS reported.

The U.S. Senate will take the bill up on Tuesday. Senate leader Chuck Schumer indicated his chamber would act quickly, saying in a statement Saturday that "the finish line is now in sight ... America will deliver yet again."

The bills are the product of months of acrimonious negotiations, pressure from U.S. allies and repeated pleas for assistance from Zelensky.

The United States has been the chief military backer of Ukraine in its war against Russia, but Congress has not...

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