Senate Republicans block Israel and Ukraine funding
Although some Republicans have vowed to support Israel, they have tried to pair passage of Ukraine aid to funding border security
December 6, 2023 10:38pm
Updated: December 7, 2023 7:07am
Republican senators on Wednesday blocked a procedural vote on a supplemental spending bill that would have sent billions in foreign aid to both Israel and Ukraine.
The final vote, 49-51, obstructed the measure from receiving the 60 votes it needs to move to the Senate floor for passage. The final tally was not split completely among party lines.
In a strange twist, Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders who caucuses with the Democratic Party instead voted with Republicans, and Senate Majority Leader Schuck Schumer also ultimately voted “no” so he could reintroduce the measure.
Republicans tried to bifurcate aid to Ukraine and Israel into separate aid packages and attempted to tie them to other legislation they want addressed by the White House.
Although some Republicans have vowed to support Israel, they have tried to pair passage of Ukraine aid to funding border security.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has previously said there is no priority higher for the U.S. than supporting Ukraine amid Russian military aggression has supported the strategy to compel the White House to fund the border.
“Now is the time to pay attention to our own border in addition to these other important international concerns,” he said, encouraging his fellow Republicans to oppose the mes
McConnell on Monday urged his Republican colleagues to oppose the measure as is.
“I'm advocating, and I hope all of our members vote no on the motion to proceed to the shell, to make the point, hopefully for the final time, that we insist on meaningful changes to the border,” he said.
Republicans previously passed a House bill that would have provided standalone aid to Israel amid the war with Hamas, but newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson hamstrung the aid package with cuts to the new IRS spending package.
Schumer resisted Johnson’s efforts, and the measure now remains stalled in the Senate.