The Senate is on track to advance a foreign aid bill despite some Republican opposition – LSB

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The Senate is on track to pass a supplemental $95 billion national security package to aid Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific region after the Senate passed several key procedural votes on Monday evening.

The supplemental package does not include any border provisions, and many Republicans have spent days — since Saturday — en masse filibustering the package on the Senate floor, which continued into Tuesday morning. The bill passed its final hurdle Monday night, and a final vote could come anytime Tuesday, but no later than Wednesday, depending on how long Republicans can delay the vote.

The bill still does not include a time agreement, meaning a formal agreement between Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., regarding the time allotted to discuss the legislation or amendments to it. The two leaders are urging their party members to pass the package.

Republicans are trying to include a tough border security bill in the foreign aid package

Schumer and McConnell

Schumer and McConnell (Getty Images)

Senator Mike Lee, who spent four hours criticizing the bill on the floor on Saturday and continued his speeches through the night on Monday, urged senators to reconsider voting to pass it.

“We cannot send billions of dollars to Ukraine while America’s borders are bleeding,” he told me on Saturday. “This betrayal is all the more horrific because it occurs at a time when the nation’s eyes are turned to sports, family and fun.”

By Monday, GOP senators were hoping for a breakthrough to have their amendments heard. Many of the amendments introduced included tough border security provisions.

Randy Paul and Mitch McConnell

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, left, and Senator Rand Paul, right. (News agency)

Sen. Susan Collins, vice chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, said Monday morning that “leadership on both sides of the aisle as well as bill managers on both sides of the aisle have been working hard day and night to try to reach an agreement to take into account discussion and vote on a series of amendments offered by House members.” Sheikhs on both sides.”

“It is clear that for this to happen we need the cooperation of all members and we will need time agreements because the number of amendments is large,” she said.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a hardline figure against continued aid to Ukraine, also spent a significant amount of time speaking Monday before the vote.

Senate Republicans are preparing for a long fight over aid to Ukraine and Israel

Ukraine Biden

US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visit St. Michael’s Cathedral, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kiev, Ukraine, February 20, 2023. (Reuters/Gleb Jaranich)

“The Republican leadership in the Senate, including the senators who voted for this bill, has assured us that it will be an open amendment process,” Paul told Fox News Digital on Monday. “Mike Lee spent four hours trying to get the amendments dropped and the Democrats didn’t allow any of them. So, yeah, I think the Democrats weren’t being honest or upfront about allowing the amendments.”

Schumer said on Sunday that there would be a “fair and reasonable vote on the amendment” if there was any possibility of speeding up the process.

However, Republicans who oppose passage of the aid bill do not want to speed up the process and say they should be allowed to offer amendments even if they do not support the overall bill.

“Members for their part have actually said, since we don’t support the omnibus bill, we shouldn’t even have the right to make amendments,” Paul said Monday night. “So no, it’s a terrible process and we’re going to continue to fight them on this, and the talk about filibuster is going on as we speak, and filibuster will continue as long as we have speakers at night.”

Senate attacks immigration and foreign aid spending package after GOP backlash against border provisions

A view of devastation after Russian airstrikes hit civilian settlements in Mykolaiv, Ukraine on March 13, 2022. (Photo by State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama, another opposing voice to the foreign aid-only package, also told Fox News Digital on Monday night, “They don’t want amendments because they would be bad votes for some senators and senators.” The Democratic side of their upcoming elections.” He explained that the party is divided on the issue of providing more aid to Ukraine.

The former football coach also offered an amendment to the package that he said would “pretty much close the border” and “do things at the border that we already have laws for.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also introduced a similar amendment to the House immigration bill, HR2, which would restore most of Trump’s restrictions, hire additional Border Patrol officers and tighten screening of asylum claims.

Republican Sens. Roger Marshall, J.D. Vance and Josh Hawley were just a few of the other senators who spoke in opposition to the bill on Monday, continuing the filibuster. Meanwhile, Republican Senators Mitt Romney and Thom Tillis were just a few who urged their colleagues not to “delay” any further and pass the package.

The package includes $60 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel, $9 billion in humanitarian aid for Gaza, and about $5 billion for the Indo-Pacific region, including Taiwan. Democrats put the package to a vote after Republicans blocked the $118 billion package that also included several border and immigration provisions last Wednesday.

Republicans have previously said they would not agree to fund Ukraine unless the crowded southern border was secured first. The GOP-led House said in a statement on Monday that they would not approve the Senate’s foreign aid bill without provisions related to border security, and instead, they would work on their own bill.

“House Republicans have been crystal clear from the beginning of discussions that any so-called national security supplemental legislation must recognize that national security begins at our borders,” Johnson said in a statement Monday evening, in part. “The mandate of the national security supplemental legislation was to secure America’s borders before sending additional foreign aid around the world. This is what the American people demand and deserve. Now, absent a single change in border policy from the Senate,” the House will have to continue Act willingly on these important issues. America deserves better than the status quo in the Senate.”

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