(WASHINGTON) – Lawmakers are making a desperate push to pass an international aid package after a previous deal collapsed.
On Thursday the Senate voted to move forward with a bill that would send $95 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Tawain.
Earlier this week, Senate Republicans killed a package that took months of negotiating and would have combined immigration reform with international aid funding. It collapsed because of objections to the border reform provisions, which is why lawmakers are trying to pass a new bill with just the international aid.
“A slimmed down version that would still do a tremendous amount of good,” Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says he plans to try to move this bill along quickly.
“We are going to keep working on this bill until the job is done,” Kaine said.
In total 67 senators voted in favor of moving forward with the bill, but it’s not clear the final version will have enough support to actually pass.
Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) argues the stakes couldn’t be higher.
“Our allies are at war. Civilians are in harm’s way. Dictators are watching closely to see what we are going to do about it,” Murray. “We frankly do not have a minute to waste.”
Lawmakers are especially facing pressure to quickly get more help to Ukraine as soldiers there run out of weapons and ammunition.
Senator Warner warns there will be dangerous consequences if the U.S. abandons Ukraine.
“If we don’t stand by Ukraine, Vladimir Putin will win,” Warner said. “It’s not good for America. It’s not good for stability around the world.”
Even if the Senate does pass the bill, it faces a tough road ahead in the Republican controlled House. Speaker Mike Johnson will have to determine whether to bring it up for a vote and risk angering the more conservative members of his party.
“He’s got a heavy lift. But that doesn’t change the fact that we’ve got a job to do here,” Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas.) said.
Source: Rocky Mountain News
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