Sunday, July 14, 2024

US Senate blocks foreign aid, immigration reform bill

The US Senate has blocked a $118 billion supplemental funding bill with aid for Ukraine and Israel, as well as immigration reforms and national security measures.

Senators blocked a motion to invoke cloture on a motion to proceed to the legislative vehicle for the bill in a vote of 49-50, with 60 votes required to pass. US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer voted against the bill in a procedural move to allow for reconsideration of the bill.

On Sunday, Senate negotiators released a bill text for the $118 billion supplemental funding legislation, following months of bipartisan talks on the matter. The Joe Biden administration initially requested supplemental funding from the US Congress in October.

The Senate is now set to consider a revised version of the legislation, which includes Ukraine and Israel aid but not immigration reforms. The revised bill provides $95.34 billion in funding, including more than $60 billion for Ukraine and $14 billion for Israel.

However, US Senator Mike Lee stated on Wednesday that Republican members of Congress should oppose further Ukraine aid unless it is attached to border security measures.

“We shouldn’t send more [money] to Ukraine. But if Congress is bent on doing that, Republicans shouldn’t support it without HR2 and language conditioning any Ukraine funds on the achievement of border-security benchmarks,” Lee said in a statement via social media platform X.

US Senator J.D. Vance added that the “Ukraine first” package gives away all leverage to achieve border security. Vance also criticized Senate leadership for not granting lawmakers more time to review the legislation.

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