Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
February 8, 2024

The Senate just voted to advance a $95 billion emergency security spending bill with $60 billion to support the war in Ukraine, but without a bipartisan border security bill that ran into stiff opposition from Republicans.  The vote was 67-32 to advance a legislative vehicle that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) says will be used to carry funding for Ukraine, Israel, Indo-Pacific security and humanitarian assistance for civilians around the world. Seventeen Republican senators voted to advance the legislation, including Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) and Senate GOP Whip John Thune (South Dakota).  Senators a day earlier had voted to block the exact same measure when it was also supposed to include the bipartisan border security reforms.  The second vote on advancing money for Ukraine and Israel was delayed for a day as a group of Republican senators tried to haggle for a promise from Leader Schumer that they would be allowed to amend the package with their own ideas for securing the southern border.  But before the package reaches the House, senators will need to vote on another procedural motion to advance the legislative vehicle.  They will also have to vote on amending it with the $95 billion defense spending bill, (TEXT) which the Senate Appropriations Committee unveiled Wednesday afternoon, and then vote to get it off the Senate floor — a process that could take several days.

The Senate package would provide $19.85 billion to replenish U.S. weapons and equipment provided to Ukraine, $13.8 billion to help Ukraine purchase weapons from U.S. manufactures and $14.8 billion for U.S. support through military training and intelligence sharing.  The Senate is expected to stay in session this week to continue working on the package.

The House remains in recess until Tuesday, February 13th with Democrats holding their annual Issues Conference with President Biden scheduled to speak.

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.