Senate approves aid package


The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed a foreign aid package that included $2.4 billion in military assistance to Israel.

The package passed 81-12 late Thursday night.

The U.S. House of Representatives version of the bill passed in a much closer vote before the summer break. Republicans had opposed the measure at the time because the overall $34 billion package increased foreign assistance overall and because it included assistance for organizations that run separate abortion services.

Both bills additionally include $40 million in refugee settlement assistance for Israel and $1.3 billion in mostly military assistance for Egypt.

The Senate package keeps in assistance for family planning groups that provide abortions. President Bush has indicated that he might veto the bill if it included such aid.

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