After a long and tedious procedural process, the Senate approved a $95 billion supplemental national security package for Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific.
The final vote was 70-29, with 22 Republicans voting “yes”. Democratic Senators. Peter Welch and Jeff Merkley, plus independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, voted no.
The package is not border security-related and comes at a time when the national debt has risen to over $34 trillion. The calls to cut spending elsewhere to offset the expenditures were ignored. Since the weekend began, several Republicans have spent collective hours filibustering on the Senate floor. Mike Lee, R. Utah, was committed to filibustering for four hours Saturday and continued on early Tuesday.
The package includes $60 Billion for Ukraine, $14 Billion for Israel, and $9 Billion in humanitarian aid for Gaza. Nearly $5 billion is allocated for the Indo-Pacific. Democrats put the package to a vote after Republicans blocked the $118-billion package which included many border and immigration provisions negotiated by bipartisan senators with Biden officials last Wednesday.
Since the beginning of the war with Russia in February 2022, the U.S. government has spent more than 100 billion dollars in aid to Ukraine.
Paul stated on the floor, before the final vote: “This bill shows the finger at American taxpayers.” Paul said, “This bill gives a finger to the entire United States — this bill puts Ukraine first and America last.”
On Monday, several GOP Senators were hoping to make a breakthrough to have their hardline border-security provisions heard.
Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced an identical amendment to the House immigration bill H.R. The amendment would reinstate most of the Trump-era restrictions and hire more border patrol officers, as well as tightening asylum screenings.
Republican Senators Roger Marshall, JDVance, and Josh Hawley are just some of the senators who continued the filibuster on Monday by speaking against the bill. GOP Sens. Mitt Romney, Thom Tillis, and others urged their fellow senators to pass the bill and not “delay”.
Jerry Moran, a Republican Senator from Kansas, became emotional during a floor address in support of this bill.
Moran stated, “I am a believer in America First. But unfortunately America First means that we must engage the world.”
What Republicans voted yes to the Foreign Aid Bill?
– John Boozman
– Shelley Moore Capito
– Bill Cassidy
– Susan Collins
– John Cornyn
– Kevin Cramer
– Mike Crapo
– Joni Ernst
– Chuck Grassley
– John Hoeven
– John Kennedy
– Mitch McConnell
– Jerry Moran
– Lisa Murkowski
– James Risch
– Mitt Romney
– Mike Rounds
– Dan Sullivan
– John Thune
– Thom Tillis
– Roger Wicker
– Todd Young
Democrats put the package to a vote after Republicans blocked the $118-billion package on Wednesday. The package also included several border and immigration provisions. Republicans said previously that they would not fund Ukraine until the southern border, which is currently overcrowded, was secured.
Last weekend, the border-foreign-aid package was announced. It met with conservative opposition by Republicans who claimed that it would normalize historical levels of illegal immigration. Conservatives and liberal Democrats joined forces to stop the bill. As a backup plan, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer prepared an alternative vote without the border package.
Mitch McConnell, Republican Minority leader, had supported funding for Ukraine. However, he was criticized by party members who asked lawmakers to not pass foreign aid before securing the border.
McConnell stated on Super Bowl Sunday that it was “fashionable” in certain circles to ignore the global interests of the United States as a global leader and to lament the responsibilities associated with global leadership. McConnell said that “to lament the commitment which has underpinned the longest streak of great power conflict throughout human history is idle work, for idle minds and has no place in United States Senate.”
Schumer stated Monday that the package was “a downpayment for the survival and survival of Western Democracy, as well as American Values.”
Republicans, who wanted to take more measures to solve the border crisis and its record-breaking records, such as greater restrictions on asylum, and limits on release into the interior, obstructed the funding package. The text was finally released on Sunday after months of negotiations.
The failed border package also included an “emergency authority” that would mandate Title 42 style expulsions when the migration level exceeds 5,000 per day on a rolling seven-day average.