After numerous setbacks and much suspense, the Senate this week appeared poised to approve a long-awaited war financing plan for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, as Republican opponents staged a filibuster to express their disapproval on a measure they could not block.
The Senate voted 66-33, surpassing a 60-vote margin, to sweep away the final procedural hurdle and limit debate on the measure to a final 30 hours before a vote on adoption that could take place Wednesday.
Senators worked through the weekend on the roughly $95 billion emergency spending package, which cleared a series of procedural hurdles as it moved toward final passage. The House voted on the bill Monday evening after hours of debate and a parliamentary filibuster led by Republican Sen. Rand Paul and joined by a coterie of Donald Trump allies in the chamber.
On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said the weekend votes demonstrated beyond doubt that there is strong support for moving forward with the aid package. foreign.
Schumer said: These are the extremely high stakes of the additional package: our security, our values, our democracy. It is a down payment for the survival of Western democracy and the survival of American values.
He added: The whole world will remember what the Senate does in the coming days. Nothing would make Putin happier right now than seeing Congress waver in its support for Ukraine; nothing would help him more on the battlefield.
If the bill passes the Senate as expected, it will then go to the Republican-led House, where next steps are uncertain. Although a bipartisan majority still supports sending aid to Ukraine, there is a growing contingent of Republican skeptics who echo Trump's contempt for the U.S.-backed war effort.
House Republicans have been very clear from the start of discussions that any so-called additional national security legislation must recognize that national security begins at our own border, read a statement from the House speaker, Mike Johnson.
The Republican president said the package lacked border security provisions, calling it silent on the most pressing issue facing our country. It's the latest, and potentially biggest, sign of opposition to aid to Ukraine from conservatives who have been demanding for months that border security policy be included in the package, only to last week rejected a bipartisan proposal to reduce the number of illegal crossings into Ukraine. US-Mexico border.
Now, absent a single border policy change from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own way on these important issues, Johnson said. America deserves better than the Senate status quo.
The measure includes $60 billion in funding for Ukraine, where soldiers are running low on ammunition as the country seeks to push back Russian troops nearly two years after the invasion. Much of that money would be used to support Ukrainian military operations and replenish the U.S. supply of weapons and equipment sent to the front lines. An additional $14 billion would be used to support Israeli and US military operations in the region. More than $8 billion would be earmarked to support U.S. partners in the Indo-Pacific region, including Taiwan, as part of their efforts to deter China's aggression.
It also allocates nearly $10 billion to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, Israel and Gaza, where nearly a quarter of residents are starving and large swaths of the territory have been ravaged.
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The package does not include a bipartisan border crackdown demanded by Republicans in exchange for their support of the foreign aid program. But after months of tense negotiations, Republicans abandoned the deal following Trump's vocal opposition to the border security measure.
Although its Republican defenders said it was the most conservative immigration reform proposal advanced in decades, Trump loyalists on Capitol Hill deemed it inadequate in light of record levels of migration to the southern border of the United States. Others have been more explicit, warning that bipartisan action to address the situation could improve Joe Biden's electoral prospects in the November election.
Border security is a priority for many Americans, an overwhelming majority of whom disapprove of the president's handling of the issue.
After the Senate failed to advance the border security measure, Schumer scrapped it and implemented a narrowly tailored foreign aid program. In their speeches Monday, several Republican senators lamented the lack of border control policies, even though all voted to reject the bipartisan immigration deal last week.
Open the champagne, pop the cork! The Democratic leader in the Senate and the Republican leader are on their way to kyiv, Paul said, initiating the filibuster. He continued: They take your money to kyiv. They didn't really have much time or money to do anything about our border.
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