The Senate is expected to consider a bill on Thursday to provide assistance to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan after Senate Republicans rejected a bipartisan border security and foreign aid bill. The vote is procedural and will require at least 60 votes for approval. If successful, the chamber would need to take additional floor votes to advance the bill to the House.
The border bill was sunk in a 49-50 vote on Wednesday afternoon, with Republicans unified in voting to filibuster the agreement they had initially called for. They argue that the bill didn’t do enough to combat record-high migrant crossings at the southern border. Senate Republicans are meeting on Thursday morning to determine their next steps.
Following the unsuccessful vote on the $118 billion package, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to bring up an aid package for Israel and Ukraine that would leave out border security provisions. The Senate was recessed after it lacked the 60 votes needed to proceed with the package on Wednesday night.
Hours before Senate Republicans blocked the bipartisan border security bill, Schumer told Democrats about his plans to put forward a supplemental aid package without border security provisions. He had expected the procedural vote on the bipartisan border security bill to fail and planned on calling another 60-vote threshold vote for the supplemental aid package that includes aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.
In addition to foreign aid, the pared-down package would also include provisions targeting fentanyl trafficking, according to a Senate Democratic aide.
The new foreign aid bill had already been met with skepticism from Senate Republicans during a lunch earlier Wednesday, with heated discussion among members over whether to support it. The Republican whip, Sen. John Thune, told the members that they would be voting on the measure eventually, so “we need to stop being hesitant and just vote,” according to sources.
The debate and potential vote on the aid package for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan showcases the ongoing challenges in finding bipartisan agreement on key national security and foreign aid issues. This reflects broader divisions within the Senate and the impact it has on crucial legislation.