Senate Hones in on Ukraine and Israel Aid, Hopes to Send Bill to House Next Week
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- On Thursday, the U.S. Senate cleared a crucial 60-vote-threshold to advance $95.3 billion in aid for Ukraine, Israel and others. But today, it became clear the bill still faces hurdles, especially in the Republican-led House.
Ukraine’s war with Russia continues, as Congress is still deadlocked on providing more aid.
“If they're able to protect their country, then that means we don't have to bring American soldiers in to fight in future fights,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow (D- MI). “It’s really important that we focus on our own security at our own borders and also on national and international security.”
Many Republicans originally wanted to make a deal: comprehensive border changes before any more aid is sent to Ukraine.
Finding compromise on the border, took months of bipartisan negotiating- until this week when the 370-page bill which included the foreign aid and border changes, was released.
“That’s off the table at the moment because we can't get Republican support for the border bill,” said Stabenow.
Ultimately, Republicans said it didn’t go far enough to curb illegal crossings. House Republicans, who passed comprehensive, Trump-era immigration policies outlined in H.R. 2, remain steadfast in holding out for tougher immigration policies.
The border bill was killed on Wednesday, leaving many Democrats, including Stabenow, disappointed.
“I was really upset, frankly, to see that we had a bipartisan agreement, took over four months to get,” said Stabenow.
Now, it appears the Senate will ditch the border effort for the time being and work solely on passing the more than $95 billion foreign aid bill.
“A huge bill that will help secure our leadership role in the world in terms of security, our security, as well as supporting allies,” said Stabenow.
The bill cleared a significant procedural hurdle in the Senate on Thursday, but a final vote could be delayed due to some GOP opposition. Senator Rand Paul (R- KY) has vowed to use complex chamber rules to slow the bill's advancement.
“This bill sends a message to Americans that their elected officials don't care about them. I've never met any Kentuckian who says ‘fix the border of Ukraine before you fix our border,’” said Sen. Paul on X, formerly Twitter.
The Senate is expected to work through the weekend. Leaders hope to hold a final vote next week so the aid can be sent to the House, where it will face strong opposition.