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Senate advances bill to provide funding for Israel, Ukraine

The bill was able to progress in the Senate after legislators stripped funds and policy changes related to border security.
Senate advances bill to provide funding for Israel, Ukraine
Posted at 1:15 PM, Feb 08, 2024

The U.S. Senate approved a procedural vote to advance a bill the would provide funding for Israel, Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific by a 67-32 vote on Thursday.

The Senate's vote is not a final approval to send the bill to the House, but it allows the legislation to clear a major hurdle before going up for final passage. 

The bill provides $95.3 billion in foreign aid, with $60 billion earmarked for Ukraine's defense, and $14.1 billion in defense aid for Israel. The bill also sets aside $9.2 billion in humanitarian assistance for Gaza and $4.8 billion in aid for the Indo-Pacific. 

What is notably not in the bill is funding for the border. Republicans have gone back and forth over whether to include funding and policy changes to border security within this bill. 

The current version of the bill had the support of 17 Republicans, including GOP Leader Mitch McConnell. 

If the bill passes the Senate, it's unclear whether Speaker Mike Johnson would allow it to go up for a vote in the House. 

"This is a good first step," Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said. "This bill is essential for our national security, for the security of our friends in Ukraine, in Israel, for humanitarian aid for innocent civilians in Gaza and for Taiwan. The bill also strengthens our military at a time when they need it most."

The Biden administration has made passing this bill a priority for months. The White House has expressed concern that waning support for Ukraine could jeopardize its ability to keep Russian forces at bay. The war between Russia and Ukraine has been ongoing for nearly two years with no end in sight.  

Scripps News' Nataniel Reed contributed to this report.

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