US Senate to vote on $95b Ukraine, Israel aid Bill after failed border deal

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate was due to vote on Thursday on a $95.34 billion bill that includes aid for Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific, after Republicans blocked compromise legislation that also included a long-sought overhaul of immigration policy.

Democrats and Republicans spent hours discussing next steps on Wednesday after the broader effort failed, until Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sent lawmakers home with plans to consider on Thursday a revised package that strips out the immigration provisions but leaves the foreign aid intact.

“We will be coming back tomorrow at noon and, hopefully, that will give the Republicans the time they need,” Schumer said on Wednesday. “We will have this vote.”

The security aid bill includes $61 billion for Ukraine as it battles a Russian invasion, $14 billion for Israel in its war against Hamas and $4.83 billion to support partners in the Indo-Pacific, including Taiwan, and deter aggression by China.

Supporters of Ukraine have been struggling for much of the year to find a way to send more money to help Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s government. While lawmakers have approved more than $110 billion for Ukraine since the invasion began in February 2022, Congress has not passed any major aid for Kyiv since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in January 2023.

It’s unclear whether the new bill would win the support of House Republicans.

“If we fail in this moment, if we abandon our friends in Ukraine to (Russian President) Vladimir Putin, history will cast a shameful and permanent shadow on Senators who block funding,” Schumer told the Senate on Wednesday.

“It is a matter of the highest national urgency that we get this right,” he said.


Supporters of Ukraine aid argue that it is essential for Washington and its partners to send a unified message not just to Russia, but globally, a message echoed by U.S. allies after the Senate votes on Wednesday.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on social media that Republican senators should be ashamed for blocking the Ukraine aid package, saying former President Ronald Reagan would be “turning in his grave.”

The Kremlin said Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke by phone on Thursday and both rejected what they called U.S. interference in the affairs of other countries.

Even if the stand-alone security bill passes the Senate, it still would need to be approved in the Republican-controlled House, where dozens of Republicans – particularly those most closely allied with former President Donald Trump – have voted against Ukraine aid, including Speaker Mike Johnson.

Trump, who leads in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, has called for de-escalation in Ukraine and said he would have the conflict resolved in 24 hours if he were reelected. He also has said he would ask Europe to reimburse the United States for money sent to Ukraine.

Trump also pressed his fellow Republicans to reject any compromise on immigration, as tight control of the border is a feature of his campaign to defeat Democratic President Joe Biden in November.

Democratic U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, one of the three negotiators on the border deal, told Reuters the biggest potential risk to the Ukraine bill would be opposition by Trump.

“Once he got loud on the immigration bill, the thing fell apart … if he turns his flamethrower on Ukraine, I wonder how it survives,” Murphy said in an interview on Wednesday. REUTERS

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