The people's voice of reason

Sewell votes for House foreign military aid package

On Saturday, Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-Selma) released a statement after voting in favor of four national security bills which passed the House today with bipartisan support.

"At a time when democracy is under attack across the globe, America's leadership is essential," said Sewell. "The national security package passed by the House provides urgently needed resources to help Ukraine defeat Putin, deliver humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza, defend Israel in its proxy wars with Iran, and deter aggression by China against our Info-Pacific partners."

The U.S. House of Representatives acted to supply Israel with arms after Iran launched a massive attack with drones, missiles, and cruise missiles a week earlier. The aid to Ukraine comes after increasing reports show Russia gaining in several instances across a broad front while Ukrainian forces are running low on missiles, bullet, artillery shells, and other ordinance. The House of Representatives also voted to arm Taiwan for an increasingly likely Chinese invasion. They also voted to send humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.

"To be clear, it should never have taken this long for House Republican leadership to meet the national security needs of the American people and our allies," said Sewell. "House Republican inaction has allowed the United States to stand idly by as Ukraine is pushed to its breaking point. I am optimistic that the Senate will pass this legislation and President Biden will sign it into law without delay. History is watching the U.S. at this moment."

The House passed its $95 billion foreign aid package over the weekend, allotting funding for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. As the bills await passage in the Senate, their impact is already being felt across the globe.

The aid will provide Ukraine with nearly $61 billion in fresh supplies of artillery rounds and air defense missiles as well as support for the Ukrainian economy. The aid is good news for Ukraine in the short term, but it is increasingly apparent, given rising Republican opposition in Congress, that coming up with the votes for a future aid package would be difficult at best.

On Sunday Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked U.S. leaders for approving the aid package on NBC News's "Meet the Press."

"I think this support will really strengthen the armed forces," Zelensky said. "We want to help get things as fast as possible so that we get some tangible assistance for the soldiers on the frontline as soon as possible - not in another six months."

The war has noticeably turned in favor of Russia U.S. military aid essentially dried up at the end of last year and promises of boosts in aid from European counties failed to show up in appreciable quantities.

U.S. shipments of long-range guided missiles to Ukraine will be shipped as soon as next week. The missiles will be able to hit targets within 190 miles.

The Washington Post reported that the Pentagon says that it will be less than a week to deliver some weapons to Ukrainian units who have been forced to ration artillery and air defense rounds.

Russia is reportedly preparing for a major offensive, meaning the likelihood of Ukraine being able to breakout and take large tracts of Ukrainian territory seems highly unlikely in the near future even with the American aid.

The House passed $17 billion in defense aid for Israel to replenish its "iron dome" weaponry used to ward off attacks last week from Iran. They also voted to give $9 billion in humanitarian aid to Gaza. Estimates of the death toll in the Israel-Hamas war has climbed to more than 34,000.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) announced that the Senate would begin procedural votes Tuesday on the aid bills.

"The task before us is urgent," said Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said. "It is once again the Senate's turn to make history."

The Senate will convene at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Terri Sewell is in her seventh term representing Alabama's Seventh Congressional District.

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