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Senate Gets Closer To Passing $95 Billion Foreign Aid Package

  The Democrat-led   Senate   pressed ahead on Sunday with a   $95 billion   foreign aid package that dropped a controversial border securit...

 The Democrat-led Senate pressed ahead on Sunday with a $95 billion foreign aid package that dropped a controversial border security and immigration reform deal that was originally included in it.

Senators voted 40-53 to defeat a motion from Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), which he said was meant to facilitate consideration of amendments, after which lawmakers again broke the 60-vote filibuster threshold in a 67-27 cloture vote, setting the stage for what could be a final vote this week.

The legislation aims to provide funds to Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and other foreign priorities — including humanitarian aid — and excludes border security provisions put together by a bipartisan group of negotiators that resulted in a hybrid bill that was ultimately rejected by a group of Republicans and leftist senators last week.

Although there may yet be amendments taken up for consideration, Lee warned that offerings from himself and other GOP senators — such as amendments that seek to tighten asylum laws, require proof of citizenship to vote, and make other changes to beef up border security and immigration laws — may not even get a shot.

Commenting on his motion to table being defeated on Sunday, Lee said, “What that means is that we’ve now been shut out of the ‘fair and open’ amendment process that was promised.” And after the vote to bust the filibuster, he added on X, “This closes debate and virtually assures passage in the Senate. Only the House can stop this now.”

The White House, which vouched for the bipartisan Senate border deal, has voiced support for the foreign aid-only package to move forward. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) opposed the immigration agreement with foreign aid but said “we’ll see” about legislation that dropped the border security provisions from the bipartisan compromise. Former President Donald Trump, the GOP frontrunner in the 2024 White House race, urged senators to reject foreign aid unless approved as a loan.

While 26 Republicans and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) voted “nay” in the cloture vote on Sunday, a bipartisan group prevailed in electing to press ahead with the foreign aid package, including leadership on both sides of the aisle who voiced concern about holding up more funds for U.S. allies engaged in armed conflicts any longer.

“Delaying until the costs in American lives and treasure rise immeasurably is not an option. The time to stand up to these gathering threats is right now,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a floor remarks.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) posted to X about how Ukraine is “dangerously low” on supplies as its forces continue to fight an invading force from Russia and argued the “only right answer to this threat is for the Senate to face it down unflinchingly, by passing this national security bill ASAP.”

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