Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told Senate Democrats he plans to force a vote Wednesday on an Israel and Ukraine aid package stripped of border security provisions after Republicans made clear they would block a move to take up the entire bipartisan border security and foreign aid bill in the afternoon, a Senate Democratic aide told NBC News.
If it gets the 60-votes needed for adoption, the procedural motion Wednesday afternoon would tee up a vote later this week on the pared down supplemental aid package, which includes assistance to the warring countries and Taiwan.
The vote on whether to take up a motion to proceed to the narrower aid package is likely happen shortly after the first procedural vote on the broader border and aid bill Wednesday afternoon, the Senate aide told NBC News. Schumer’s plan to try to move the foreign aid bill without border provisions was previously reported by Punchbowl News.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who supported the $118 billion border security bill that a group of Republican senators negotiated with Democrats, expressed support for a vote on the supplemental aid bill without the border provisions during a leadership news conference Tuesday.
“There are other parts of this supplemental they’re extremely important as well — Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan,” McConnell said. “We still, in my view, ought to tackle the rest of it because it’s important. Not that the border isn’t important, but we can’t get an outcome. So that’s where I think we ought to head, and it’s up to Senator Schumer to decide how to repackage this, if in fact we don’t go on to it.”
The second version of the bill will still include provisions targeting fentanyl trafficking, the Democratic aide said.
Less than 48 hours after text of the bipartisan border security bill was released Sunday, Republican senators made clear that the legislation had no viable pathway to passage. By Tuesday, their opposition made clear that the bill wouldn’t have the 60 votes needed to end a GOP filibuster.
Former President Donald Trump decried the bipartisan border security package as a “terrible bill.” House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., also swiftly stated his opposition to the legislation, saying it would be “dead on arrival” if it reached the House.
The House rejected a standalone bill to provide aid to Israel on Tuesday amid congressional infighting over the Senate border bill. The House vote, 250-180, fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass the Israel aid bill under an expedited process for its consideration.
Johnson announced the vote on the separate Israel bill after the Senate reached a tentative immigration deal. The House bill included $17.6 billion in military aid to Israel, “as well as important funding for U.S. Forces in the region,” Johnson’s office has said. It lacked spending offsets that Johnson said Democrats had objected to in previous legislation.