Mon. May 20th, 2024

Senate Republicans sink border bill ahead of separate Israel and Ukraine aid vote

By 37ci3 Feb7,2024


WASHINGTON — The Senate voted 49-50 in favor bipartisan border security and foreign assistance bill After Republicans voted en masse to scrap the deal they demanded, they argued it wasn’t enough to crack down on the extreme border.

The failed vote on the $118 billion package bolsters an alternative plan put forward by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who plans to vote Wednesday on an aid package for Israel and Ukraine that strips Republicans of border security provisions after the blockade. larger bill, a Senate Democratic aide said.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., a leading Democratic negotiator, said he was concerned that Republican leadership would undo the legislation they negotiated and signed into law just three days ago.

“This is the most horrible thing I’ve been involved in in my 16 years in Congress,” Murphy told NBC News moments after the vote. “A few hours later, they all ran for the hills. … We learned that Trump leads the party completely and utterly, otherwise they are rudderless.”

Photo: Chuck Schumer
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., discusses the next steps for the foreign aid package for Ukraine and Israel at the Capitol on Wednesday.J. Scott Applewhite / AP

A small group of Democrats joined most Republicans in opposing the legislation, which failed to garner the necessary 60 votes. Only four Republicans voted in favor: Senators Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and James Lankford of Oklahoma, the top Republican negotiator on the deal.

Another lead negotiator of the border bill, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., accused critics of trying to extend the broken system for political gain. “I have a very clear message to anyone using the southern border for staged political events: Don’t come to Arizona. Take your political theater to Texas,” he said. “Don’t bring it to me.”

The Senate will now turn to a scaled-down foreign aid package that includes aid to warring nations and Taiwan. It would still include provisions targeting fentanyl trafficking, a Democratic aide said. The bill will need at least 60 votes to proceed to a vote on Wednesday, and a final vote will be held in the coming days.

The White House supports the plan. White House spokesman Andrew Bates said on Wednesday that the foreign aid bill would “protect America’s national security interests by stopping Putin’s attack on Ukraine before it reaches other countries,” as well as help Israel defend itself and “provide humanitarian aid to innocent Palestinian civilians.” “

However, it is unclear whether the bill will pass the Senate. If that happens, Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., gave no indication Wednesday that he would allow a vote on the House floor.

“We will see what the Senate will do. We allow the process to continue. And we will manage it as it is sent. I’ve made it very clear that you have to deal with these issues on their merits,” Johnson told reporters before the Senate vote.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., met privately with Johnson on Wednesday morning, according to two sources; the speaker told McConnell he could not give any assurances about the fate of the foreign aid bill without immigration in the House.

Separately, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., also met with Johnson.

“I don’t accept it,” Scott Johnson told him. “He said it should be broken down into individual bills. … If it passes the Senate, he will not raise this issue there.”

In response, an official in the speaker’s office said, “The speaker’s messages to Senators McConnell and Scott were consistent: The House will consider the Senate product. The Speaker believes that the Chamber should consider each issue separately on its merits.

McConnell, who backed the $118 billion border security bill that a group of Republican senators negotiated with Democrats, acknowledged he did not have the votes and voted against it on Wednesday. McConnell expressed support for a vote on the additional aid bill without the border provisions at a leadership news conference on Tuesday.

“There are other parts of this annex that are also extremely important – Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan,” McConnell said. “I think we still have to sort out the rest of it because it’s important. It’s not that the border isn’t important, but we’re not getting results. So I think we have to go.”

Less than 48 hours after the text of the bipartisan border security bill was released Sunday, Republican senators announced the legislation was in place. there is no convenient way to cross.

Former President Donald Trump condemned the bipartisan border security package “A terrible bill.” Johnson also quickly voiced his opposition to the legislation and said it would happen “Dead on Arrival” If he gets home.

The White House has said it will still push for immigration reform. “Even if some Republicans in Congress are committed to border security, President Biden is not committed,” Bates said. “We still need reforms and more resources to secure the border. All of these priorities have strong bipartisan support across the country.”

House He rejected an independent bill to provide aid to Israel Tuesday amid debate in Congress over the Senate’s 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.

Johnson announced a vote on a separate Israeli bill After the Senate reached an immigration deal. Johnson’s office said the House bill includes $17.6 billion in military aid to Israel, as well as “significant funding for US forces in the region.” And there was no cost reimbursement, which Johnson said Democrats objected to in the previous legislation. But Democrats dismissed it as a political ploy to capitalize on the GOP’s rejection of the Senate immigration deal.





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