This just in: On Wednesday, the Senate GOP blocked a bipartisan border package that also included $60 billion in aid to Ukraine as well as $14 billion for Israel.
Many Republicans said the election-year compromise wasn’t enough, even as supporters of the bill insisted it was the best possible in divided government.
The 49-50 vote, far short of the 60 ayes needed to take up the bill, came after most Republicans said they would vote against the legislation, which also includes $60 billion in wartime aid to Ukraine and $14 billion for Israel. GOP lawmakers had insisted that the money for conflicts abroad be paired with help for the U.S. border.
Forcing the showdown with Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said earlier that he would try to salvage the wartime funding, and would next push ahead on a crucial test vote for tens of billions of dollars for Kyiv, Israel and other U.S. allies — a modified package with the border portion stripped out.
For comparison, the requested budget for the United States Marine Corps in 2023 was a little over $50 billion.
As of this writing, it is unclear if the Senate will move ahead on a stand-alone bill for the Ukraine and Israel funding.
It is unclear if enough Republicans will vote to move ahead with the standalone legislation for the wartime aid, which also would need 60 votes in the 51-49 Senate. If it did pass, it would still take days for the Senate to reach a final vote.
As some Republicans have grown skeptical of sending money to Ukraine in its war with Russia, Schumer said that “history will cast a permanent and shameful shadow” on those who attempt to block it.
“Will the Senate stand up to brutish thugs like Vladimir Putin and reassure our friends abroad that America will never abandon them in the hour of need?” Schumer asked as he opened the Senate.
Funding for both border operations and aid to the two embattled nations has been the topic of furious debate for some time now.
Previously on RedState: McConnell’s Camp Looks for Someone to Blame for the Border Bill Fiasco
Trump PAC Drops Blistering Ad Showing What Dems Are Giving Us on the Border—’Joe Biden’s Middle Finger’
Even if the stand-alone bill passes the Senate, its fate in the House is doubtful.
It was not clear whether the new plan, even if it passed the Senate, would gain support from House Speaker Mike Johnson. House Republicans are still insisting on a border plan, even though they rejected the deal negotiated in the Senate as insufficient.
“We’ll see what the Senate does,” Johnson told reporters Wednesday morning. “We’re going to allow the process to play out.”
Some were skeptical that a standalone aid package would be viable in the House.
“I don’t see how that moves in this chamber. I don’t know how the speaker puts that on the floor,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Ala., said, adding that he still wanted tougher border policies attached.
Both issues, the border, and foreign aid can be expected to be major topics of discussion in this fall’s elections, particularly in the presidential race, where the two likely opponents have quite different positions on these matters.
This is a developing story. RedState will continue to update you as events warrant.