Senate Republicans block Ukraine, Israel funding bill

Source: The Hill | December 6, 2023 | Al Weaver

Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a bill to provide aid to Ukraine and Israel over a lack of border provisions in the measure.

Senators voted 49-51, failing to reach the 60-vote threshold that would allow the proposal to come up for consideration. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) voted with every Republican against the measure. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) flipped his vote to “no” so he could bring the bill up again in the future.

The $111 billion emergency supplemental package requested by President Biden also included aid for the Indo-Pacific region, as well as funding for humanitarian aid in Gaza, the border and to combat fentanyl trafficking.  

Despite their support for most of those items, Senate Republicans have insisted for weeks that they would withhold their votes on the motion to proceed if the bill did not have a satisfactory border remedy attached.

Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) had led border discussions over the past month, but those languished last week before Murphy and Democrats walked away from the table, arguing Republicans were asking for too much. 

The situation has upset members on both sides. 

“Why hold up Ukraine aid if they can’t even present a border package that can pass the Senate?” Schumer said on the floor earlier Wednesday. 

“We are asking ourselves this question: Has border been nothing more than an excuse for the hard right to kill funding for Ukraine, and too many other Republican senators who are not part of the hard right are going along?” he said. “I hope that’s not true.” 


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