Senate moves one step closer to passing aid package for Ukraine and Israel despite Trump's opposition

Nathan Howard/Reuters

US Capitol on February 9, 2024.

The Senate on Sunday passed a $95.3 billion foreign aid bill with critical aid to Ukraine and Israel, with the support of 18 Republicans — despite opposition from former President Donald Trump — following a key vote to move the package forward.

The foreign aid package includes billions of dollars to support Ukraine's war against Russia, security aid to Israel, and humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza, the West Bank and Ukraine.

The vote was 67 to 27. And one GOP senator voted “yes” in Sunday's procedural vote — rather than Thursday's procedural vote on the bill — in a sign that GOP support for the measure is steady and expanding in recent days. A previous compilation including US foreign aid and border policy changes and funding.

If the bill ultimately passes the Senate, it will next go to the House, where it's unclear when Speaker Mike Johnson will hold a vote. Many House Republicans oppose further aid to Ukraine, and Trump campaigned against passing the legislation, seen as a victory for President Joe Biden.

The Senate is working on the bill over the weekend, but Kentucky's GOP Sen. A final vote on Rand Paul could take days. The process proceeds slowly. The chamber removed the crucial 60-vote threshold To move the bill forward On Thursday, another procedural vote was held on Friday night and a debate on the legislation was held on Saturday.

But without agreement from all 100 senators to speed up the process and pass legislation quickly, the Senate met on Sunday afternoon with a final vote in a week.

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“I can't remember the last time the Senate was in session on Super Bowl Sunday,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. “But as I've said all week, we're going to continue to work on this bill until the job is done.”

Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, told CBS' “Face the Nation” that he hopes the Senate can pass a bill that includes funding for Ukraine by early to midweek.

Lawmakers are moving forward with a foreign aid bill after Republicans Blocked a broader bill It would have tied foreign aid to a bilateral border agreement. Republicans had initially called for it to be part of the border security bill, but rejected a bipartisan deal amid strong attacks on the measure. By Trump And top House Republicans.

For his part, the former president also wrote on Truth Social on Saturday Stop foreign aid Unless it is structured as a debt, it explains the political pressure on Republicans to kill the legislation.

“Are you listening United States Senate (?),” Trump wrote.

Paul dug in Sunday and repeated similar comments saying he would fight “till hell freezes over.” He indicated that he was ready to host the forum by talking about the national debt issue and other issues.

“I want to talk,” Paul said. “It's one of my favorites. Yeah, I slept all day yesterday waiting for this. I'm going to take an Adderall — no, I'm just kidding.”

“We do this for a purpose,” he said. “I don't like being here … I'm not here because it's fun, I'm here because I don't think enough people are talking about the dangers of debt.”

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Senate Republicans are now split on the foreign aid package, with some pushing for amendments to make changes to the bill — including adding measures related to immigration and border policy.

While it was unclear whether a deal would be reached, Schumer said Democrats hoped to reach an agreement with Republicans on the amendments.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer walks to meet with reporters at the Capitol in Washington DC on Wednesday.

The bill includes $60 billion to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia, $14.1 billion in security aid to Israel, $9.2 billion in humanitarian aid and $4.8 billion to support regional partners in the Indo-Pacific region, among other provisions, according to Senate appropriations. group.

As the Senate continues debate on the legislation over the weekend, advocates Calling lawmakers Approve an amendment providing for Afghans evacuated during the period Withdrawal of Afghanistan from the United States Path to Permanent Legal Residency in the United States.

correction, introduced A Senate Democrat from Minnesota on Friday. By Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Jerry Moran, Republican of Kansas, “Allows Afghan nationals to apply for permanent legal citizenship if they commit to building a life in the United States after a thorough review.” A press release from Klobuchar.

Sen. Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, holds that amendment against the changes he wants to make. Senators are unlikely to reach bipartisan agreement to vote on any amendment.

This story and topic have been updated with additional improvements.

CNN's Haley Britsky contributed to this report.

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