WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is set to consider a bill that aims to provide assistance to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan, following the rejection of a bipartisan border security and foreign aid bill by Republicans in the chamber. The scheduled vote on Thursday afternoon is procedural, deciding whether to move forward with the foreign aid package, and would require a minimum of 60 votes for approval. If successful, further floor votes would be necessary to advance the bill to the House.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Senate blocked the border bill with a 49-50 vote. Republicans filibustered the agreement, expressing concerns that it did not sufficiently address the surge in migrant crossings at the southern border. Initially, they had called for stronger border provisions in the bill.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, is now pushing a standalone aid package for Israel and Ukraine, without the border security provisions. On Thursday morning, Senate Republicans held a meeting to determine their next steps. Prior to the failure of the procedural vote on the bipartisan border security bill, Schumer had informed Democrats of his plans to propose a supplemental aid package without border security provisions. He had anticipated this outcome and intended to call for a 60-vote threshold vote on the supplemental aid package, which includes aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.
In addition to foreign aid, the scaled-down package would also address the issue of fentanyl trafficking, according to a Senate Democratic aide. However, the new foreign aid bill faced skepticism from Senate Republicans during a lunch meeting held on Wednesday.
House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, did not indicate whether he would allow a floor vote on the bill, stating, “We’ll see what the Senate does.”
As lawmakers deliberate on the aid package, its fate remains uncertain. Senator Schumer continues to pursue assistance for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan, while addressing concerns about border security. The decisions made in the Senate will undoubtedly impact the trajectory of this bill and its potential passage.
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