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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Chuck Schumer to push stripped-down Israel and Ukraine aid package after GOP blocks Senate border bill

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told Senate Democrats he plans to force a vote on an Israel and Ukraine aid package stripped of border security provisions Wednesday after Republicans made clear they would block a move to take up the entire bipartisan border security and foreign aid bill in the afternoon, a Senate Democratic aide told NBC News.

If it gets the 60-votes needed for adoption, the procedural motion Wednesday afternoon would tee up a vote later this week on whether to take up the legislative vehicle for the supplemental aid package, which includes aid to the warring countries and Taiwan.

The second vote, on taking up a motion to proceed to the narrower aid package, is likely happen soon after the first procedural vote on the broader border and aid bill this afternoon, the Senate aide told NBC News.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who supported the bipartisan border security bill that a group of Republican senators negotiated with Democrats, expressed support for a vote on the supplemental aid bill without the border provisions during a leadership press conference Tuesday.

“There are other parts of this supplemental they’re extremely important as well — Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan,” McConnell said. “We still, in my view, ought to tackle the rest of it because it’s important. Not that the border isn’t important, but we can’t get an outcome. So that’s where I think we ought to head, and it’s up to Senator Schumer to decide how to repackage this, if in fact we don’t go on to it.”

The second version of the bill will still include provisions targeting fentanyl trafficking, the Democratic aide said.

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