Senate Passes $95BN Ukraine-Israel Package But Johnson Signals Blockade In House

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Feb 13, 2024 - 02:15 PM

Early Tuesday Senate Democrats and Republicans joined to pass the $95 billion national security package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan after months of tense holdup and negotiations by Republicans, given especially the fight over the border security measures.

"With this bill, the Senate declares that American leadership will not waiver, will not falter, will not fail," announced Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, after working closely with Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on the legislation.

The Associated Press details that the "vote came after a small group of Republicans opposed to the $60 billion for Ukraine held the Senate floor through the night, using the final hours of debate to argue that the U.S. should focus on its own problems before sending more money overseas."

Via The Independent

"But 22 Republicans voted with nearly all Democrats to pass the package 70-29, with supporters arguing that abandoning Ukraine could embolden Russian President Vladimir Putin and threaten national security across the globe," AP notes.

Among those leading the last stand was Sen. Rand Paul, who vowed to told out until "hell freezes over" and spoke out about the massive national debt on the Senate floor.

"I love to talk," Paul said going into last night. "That’s one of my favorite things to do. Yes, and I slept all day yesterday waiting for this. I’m going to take Adderall — nah, I’m just kidding."

Speaker Mike Johnson has signaled blockade in the House, saying that the House is not going to take up the bill anytime soon as it doesn't include the vital border security provisions.

He had said Monday night, "House Republicans were crystal clear from the very beginning of discussions that any so-called national security supplemental legislation must recognize that national security begins at our own border." He added: "In the absence of having received any single border policy change from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own will on these important matters."

Former president and current Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has been vocal on the campaign trail in encouraging GOP Congressional leaders to block it and holdout as long as possible.

Politico reports: Ohio Republican Sen. J.D. Vance "distributed a memo to Senate GOP offices on Monday arguing that the foreign aid measure could tie Trump's hands if he comes into office next year wanting to pause Ukraine funds as part of negotiations on ending Russia's war on the U.S. ally. That's because some of the legislation's funding expires nine months into the next presidency, effectively — according to Vance — handcuffing a future President Trump from making his own decisions on Ukraine spending."

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (NY) said last week that Democrats could attempt to force the bill to the floor through a discharge petition, however admitted the strategy it doubtful: "House Democrats are prepared to use every available legislative tool to make sure we get comprehensive national security legislation over the finish line," he said.