Senate advances $6.5 billion Taiwan military aid bill

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Wednesday advanced a sprawling bill that would give Taiwan the same benefits as major non-NATO allies, provide $6.5 billion in military aid, expedite arms sales and prioritize the transfer of excess U.S. defense articles there.

The Foreign Relations Committee advanced the Taiwan Policy Act 17-5 after amending certain provisions to address the White House’s concerns with some components of the legislation.

The committee’s chairman, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., told Defense News this week that the changes occurred following “some very constructive conversations” with national security adviser Jake Sullivan. “We’ve heard their views, and we think we’re landing in a good spot that still produces a very strong bill and then meets and assuages some of their concerns,” Menendez said.

The bipartisan bill would provide $6.5 billion in military aid to Taiwan through 2027 via Foreign Military Financing — a program that provides foreign countries the ability to purchase U.S. military equipment with grants and loans. The initial bill would have provided $4.5 billion through 2026, but the committee amended the legislation with a $2 billion increase.