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  • Writer's pictureStaff @ LPR

US Senate to vote on standalone foreign aid package excluding the southern border

The Senate will reconvene Thursday to vote on a supplemental funding bill that would send billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine and Israel, after the bipartisan border and national security package failed to advance the day before.


The standalone $95 billion package would invest in domestic defense manufacturing, send funding to allies in Asia, and provide $10 billion for humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, Israel, Gaza and other places.

 

The inclusion of military assistance for Ukraine, security assistance for Israel and humanitarian assistance for civilians in Ukraine, Gaza and the West Bank has not changed. However, this bill will not include the US border security measures that have become a main point of contention in Congress for weeks now. Despite this, some Republican senators expressed interest in adding border provisions through an amendment process.


The initial vote in the Senate on the foreign aid package on Wednesday had 58 members supporting advancing it. Just two votes shy of reaching the numbers required to approve the bill, there is currently not enough support to get the legislation passed in the Senate.


The level of support for the bill had come into question on the floor, leading the senators to keep the vote open for four hours as they debated the best path forward. On Wednesday evening, the Senate majority leader, Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York, took to the floor to announce that members would reconvene Thursday to vote on the legislation.


Of the 50 votes against advancing the bipartisan border bill, 44 Senate Republicans and six of their Democratic colleagues blocked the legislation from moving forward. Only four Senate Republicans – including James Lankford, a Republican of Oklahoma, who helped broker the border deal – supported advancing the bill.

Schumer supported the bill’s advancement initially, but he then changed his vote, a procedural play that would allow him to take up the legislation again later. In a floor speech delivered Wednesday before the vote, Schumer criticized Republicans for opposing the bipartisan bill and accused them of doing Donald Trump’s political bidding. But senate Republicans placed the blame on the bill itself.


“We still need to secure America’s borders before sending another dime overseas,” Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah wrote in a post on X.


Many Republicans said the compromise wasn’t enough and they would rather allow the issue to be decided in the presidential election.

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