ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 141

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US Senate to vote on $95b Ukraine, Israel aid bill after failed border deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., discusses next steps for the foreign aid package for Ukraine and Israel on the day after the bipartisan Senate border security bill collapsed, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., discusses next steps for the foreign aid package for Ukraine and Israel on the day after the bipartisan Senate border security bill collapsed, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The US Senate is due to vote later today on a $95.34 billion bill that includes aid for Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific, after Republicans blocked compromise legislation that also included a long-sought overhaul of immigration policy.

Democrats and Republicans spent hours discussing next steps on Wednesday after the broader effort failed, until Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sent lawmakers home with plans to consider on Thursday a revised package that strips out the immigration provisions but leaves the foreign aid intact.

“We will be coming back tomorrow at noon and, hopefully, that will give the Republicans the time they need,” Schumer said on Wednesday. “We will have this vote.”

The security aid bill includes $61 billion for Ukraine as it battles a Russian invasion, $14 billion for Israel in its war against Hamas and $4.83 billion to support partners in the Indo-Pacific, including Taiwan, and deter aggression by China.

Supporters of Ukraine have been struggling for much of the year to find a way to send more money to help Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government. While lawmakers have approved more than $110 billion for Ukraine since the invasion began in February 2022, Congress has not passed any major aid for Kyiv since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in January 2023.

It’s unclear whether the new bill would win the support of House Republicans.

“If we fail in this moment, if we abandon our friends in Ukraine to [Russian President] Vladimir Putin, history will cast a shameful and permanent shadow on Senators who block funding,” Schumer told the Senate on Wednesday.

“It is a matter of the highest national urgency that we get this right,” he said.

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