Chuck Schumer moved to wrap up debate on the no-border supplemental spending bill on Friday, putting aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan one step closer to passage. The Senate advanced the $95 billion bill by a 64-19 vote.
Fourteen Republicans voted yes on the measure. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), who caucuses with Democrats, voted against due to concerns over aid to Israel.
Now, the Senate is in for a laggard series of weekend votes before moving on to final passage. That will include a critical vote on Sunday to overcome a filibuster on the bill. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has vowed to object to a time agreement that could speed up progress, meaning senators will have to run out the clock on debate between each vote, since any one senator can object to a time agreement.
That not only slows the bill down, but also means there’s little prospect of a comprehensive series of votes on amendments. Those are most easily scheduled by unanimous agreement among all senators.
“I hope our Republican colleagues can work with us to reach an agreement on amendments, so we can move this process along,” Schumer said Friday. ”Democrats are willing to consider reasonable and fair amendments here on the floor, as we’ve shown on many occasions in the past three years.”
A previous version of the supplemental spending bill that included border spending and policy changes was blocked in the Senate earlier this week. Despite nuking that version of the bill, many Senate Republicans remain adamant that they will not support further aid to Ukraine unless border policy changes are included — this time by amendment.
Absent an agreement with Paul, the Senate’s weekend schedule would likely look something like this:
- Saturday: An in-between day for debate on the bill.
- Sunday: A vote on whether or not to advance an amendment that changes the underlying text of the bill to the language in the borderless foreign aid legislation. That vote would take 60 votes to pass.
- Monday: If the above passes, the Senate would move to a vote on actually approving that amendment, which would take a simple majority. The Senate would then take one more procedural vote to advance the bill further. That would take 60 votes
A final passage vote — which would take a simple majority — could happen either Tuesday or Wednesday.
And if there was any hope for Paul to come around, he told reporters in the Capitol on Friday night that because of “global warming … hell freezing over is going to be a while.”
Schumer repeatedly warned Senate Republicans that he would keep the Senate in session until work on the supplemental was done. That plan will now eat into both the weekend — including Super Bowl Sunday — and a planned two-week recess that was slated to begin next week. Members aren’t especially excited about that reality, but are proceeding nonetheless.
“People are accepting it for what it is,” Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) said.
Burgess Everett contributed to this report.
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