Senate Republicans blocked a motion to advance a massive $111 billion spending package that includes military aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan over a partisan dispute on border issues.
The effort failed in a vote of 49-51, with every Republican voting against the measure. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) also voted “no” due to his opposition to providing Israel with more unconditional military aid as it’s killing civilians on a massive scale in Gaza. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) switched his vote to “no” when he realized the bill wouldn’t receive the 60 votes it needed so he could bring the bill to the floor again in the future.
President Biden initially requested $106 billion for the spending package, but Senate Democrats increased the number to $111 billion. The legislation includes a whopping $67 billion to spend on Ukraine to fuel the war and prop up the Ukrainian government for another entire year despite clear signs that Ukrainian forces cannot break through Russia’s defenses.
The $111 billion bill also includes billions to beef up security at the border, but Republicans are looking for changes to asylum laws to make it more difficult for migrants to enter the country. Schumer called the vote despite the lack of a deal, and the bill was expected to fail.
Earlier in the day, President Biden pleaded with Congress to pass more funding for the Ukraine war, claiming if US aid dried up, Russia would invade NATO territory in Europe. “Then we’ll have something that we don’t seek and that we don’t have today — American troops fighting Russian troops,” Biden said.
The president also took shots at Republicans for their border stance. “Petty, partisan, angry politics can’t get in the way of our responsibility as a leading nation in the world. And literally, the entire world is watching,” he said.