Latest News 16-04-2024 00:01 5 Views

Trump’s loan proposal for Ukraine aid may be common ground for comprehensive foreign aid package

Former President Trump's plan for Ukraine aid to be granted as a loan could be the determining factor that pushes a supplemental aid package across the finish line in Congress.

Several congressional aides on both sides of the aisle noted potential support for Trump's idea for assistance to the country – which is in an ongoing war with Russia – in the form of a zero-interest loan with an unlimited lifespan. The likelihood of support for such a measure is especially high if it is determined to be the only way to pass an aid package to Ukraine and Israel.

In the wake of a massive Iranian drone attack on Israel over the weekend, a renewed sense of urgency was placed on lobbying attempts for aid in Congress, which were already underway.

The Senate passed a $95.3 billion foreign aid package that included Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan in February. Despite passing the upper chamber, it managed to split the Republican conference, several of whom had been critical of continued aid to Ukraine. A number of Republican senators were also unhappy that the package didn't address the southern border crisis.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has yet to bring the supplemental package to the House floor for a vote, despite many House Republicans having urged him to do so. The package would likely pass, but with significant Republican opposition.

With a path forward on foreign aid still unclear, House Republican leaders are set to meet Monday evening to discuss potential ways to address both Israel and Ukraine.

According to several Democrat congressional aides, the attack on Iran isn't likely to make Senate Democrats more amenable to a standalone bill for Israel. This is partially because Ukraine aid would have more difficulty passing without being tied to Israel. One Democrat aide even suggested that standalone Israel aid would face trouble passing without the allotment for Ukraine.

What the attack on Israel at the hands of Iran is more likely to prompt from Democrats is an even harder push for the House to take up the Senate-passed supplemental bill, per one congressional aide.

While Senate Democrats still prefer the supplemental bill and believe it is the fastest way to get aid to Israel, they aren't completely opposed to other ways of obtaining it.

Two aides told Fox News Digital that numerous Senate Democrats are open to advancing a package that combines aid for Ukraine and Israel, with the provision that assistance to Ukraine is extended as a loan, aligning with Trump's proposal.

This is especially true if it presents a faster opportunity to get aid to both countries. 

Republicans are similarly interested in the idea of the aid as a loan, per two GOP aides.

A Senate Republican aide indicated that the appetite for the supplemental package, which was passed but severely divided Republicans, likely remains the same. Instead, the recent attack on Israel renewed the desire to pass Israel aid apart from Ukraine and Taiwan, which Democrats have largely rejected.


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