The Senate made a decision on Sunday to move forward with a bill for foreign assistance in an unusual weekend meeting, paving the way for a final vote later this week. However, the process of approving the bill is likely to continue in the coming days as certain senators aim to delay its progress.
On Sunday, a procedural vote was held on a $95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific. The vote resulted in 67 in favor and 27 opposed, as discussions on the bill were expected to continue into the two-week recess starting on Monday.
“I can’t remember the last time the Senate was in session on Super Bowl Sunday,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said ahead of the vote on Sunday. “But as I’ve said all week long, we’re going to keep working on this bill until the job is done.”
The border security deal was made public last week, but was promptly dismissed when ex-President Donald Trump gave his opinion. Despite the Senate rejecting the inclusion of border security measures in a vote last week, Schumer urged for the aid package to move forward without them.
Despite this, certain Republican members of the Senate were hesitant about passing the aid package without including measures for border security. Meanwhile, others outright rejected the package, casting doubt on the bill’s future progress. Additionally, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky promised to delay the bill’s proceedings whenever possible. Nonetheless, the Senate continued with procedural votes for the legislation.and .
Senator Chris Murphy, a Democratic representative from Connecticut and a key player in the border security negotiations, stated on “Face the Nation” that obtaining Republican support for Ukraine has been challenging due to President Donald Trump’s resistance to funding. However, Murphy remains optimistic that the Senate will successfully pass the necessary measures in the next few days.
Before the vote on Sunday, Schumer stated that Democrats are optimistic about potentially reaching an amendment agreement with Republicans. This would allow for a quicker process to reach a vote on the final passage. However, he emphasized the importance of completing the work on this bill, regardless of whether an agreement is reached or not.
The Democratic representative from New York stated during the Senate meeting that it has been a long time since the Senate has considered a bill on its own that has such a significant impact on not only our country’s safety and the safety of our allies, but also the security of Western democracy and our core values.
Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky and the leader of the minority in the Senate, appeared to have a similar view. He stated before the vote that our allies cannot ignore the fact that the most threatening aggressors in the world are not solely their responsibility, and neither are they ours.
“We do not use American power carelessly,” stated McConnell. “We do so because it benefits us. We provide our allies with the means to confront our mutual enemies, reducing the need for American casualties in defeating them.”