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Senate Republicans block Ukraine, Israel funding bill amid border row

Republicans have sought to split aid to Israel and Ukraine into separate legislation and to pair the latter with significant reforms to border security.

Published: December 6, 2023 5:52pm

Updated: December 6, 2023 7:48pm

Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a procedural vote on a supplemental spending bill that included billions in foreign aid to both Ukraine and Israel, preventing the measure from advancing to the floor for consideration.

The vote was 49-51 with Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders joining Republicans to oppose it, according to the Hill. Senate Majority Leader Schuck Schumer subsequently became a "no" vote to allow him to return to the measure at a later date. The measure would have needed 60 votes to clear the procedural hurdle.

Republicans have sought to split aid to Israel and Ukraine into separate legislation and to pair the latter with significant reforms to border security. The strategy has attracted support from even advocates of further aid to Ukraine, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell insisted that "[n]ow is the time to pay attention to our own border in addition to these other important international concerns."

McConnell on Monday urged his Republican colleagues to oppose the measure.

"I'm advocating, and I hope all of our members vote no on the motion to proceed to the shell, to make the point – hopefully for the final time – that we insist on meaningful changes to the border," he said.

On Israel, Republicans have previously passed a standalone House bill to aid Jerusalem amid the conflict with Hamas, though House Speaker Mike Johnson paired the foreign aid with matching cuts to the IRS, a plan to which Schumer took issue, and the measure stalled in the upper chamber.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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