The Senate is poised to vote Wednesday afternoon on advancing a $110.5 billion bill for Ukraine, Israel, humanitarian aid to Gaza and border security. But GOP opposition over disagreement over border security is expected to doom the package.
Republicans said Tuesday they expect the vote to fail, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is encouraging his members to vote down the procedural motion.
“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,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday.
McConnell panned a proposal from Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to allow Republicans to offer a border security amendment of their choosing at a 60-vote threshold to the national security package — an enticement for the GOP to back the procedural vote.
The text of the supplemental spending bill released Tuesday night includes border security provisions including funding boosts for Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. But a bipartisan deal hasn’t been struck on the issue, and Republicans have called the effort unserious.
Schumer has accused Republicans of “hostage taking” for derailing his preferred path to passing aid to Israel and Ukraine.
Any lingering hope of the package making progress in the Senate evaporated when a briefing on Ukraine and Israel devolved Tuesday afternoon, with Republicans demanding updates on the southern border instead of the international conflicts. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle left the briefing angry and frustrated.