US Averts Shutdown with $1.2 Trillion Bill, Includes Military Aid for Israel

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Republicans and Democrats in the Senate averted a government shutdown for the next six months on Saturday by passing a $1.2 trillion funding package that was promptly signed by President Joe Biden. The bill includes a $3.3 billion military aid package for Israel and stops funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), an agency facing criticism after the Shin Bet exposed its ties to Hamas.

Jewish Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) criticized the appropriations bill by saying Israel should not receive another penny from US taxpayers.

“I voted NO on the appropriations bill that the Senate passed last night. While hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children face starvation in Gaza, this bill actually prohibits funding to UNRWA, the key United Nations aid agency delivering life-saving humanitarian support. This will only intensify the already horrific situation in Gaza,” Sanders said in a statement following the vote that passed 74-24.

“This bill also provides another $3.3 billion in US military aid for Netanyahu’s right-wing government to continue this barbaric war. The Netanyahu government should not receive another penny from US taxpayers,” he said.

Last month, the Senate passed a $95 billion aid package that allocated $14 billion to Israel. Despite its easy passage by a vote of 70-29, the House is likely to encounter resistance from GOP members over the $60 billion designated for Ukraine.

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