- The Senate approved a Ukraine and Israel aid bill — without any border provisions.
- Republicans had demanded border security measures, only to reject them as insufficiently harsh.
- 22 GOP senators, slightly less than half of the conference, joined most Democrats to pass the bill.
So much for that border security deal.
Early on Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill to provide billions in aid to Ukraine and Israel, setting up an eventual clash with House Republicans.
In the end, 22 Republican senators — slightly less than half of the conference — joined with most Democrats to pass a version of the foreign aid bill that didn’t include any of the border security provisions. Hours earlier, the bill failed after Republicans panned the bipartisan deal that they had originally demanded.
Among those voting for the bill was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose support for Ukraine aid is increasingly at odds with the rest of the GOP, as well as his allies in the conference.
The $95.34 billion package contains $60 billion in new aid to Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel, and $9.15 billion for humanitarian assistance, including for Gaza.
Tuesday’s vote represents a significant decline in support for Ukraine within the Senate GOP. In May 2022 — the last time the Senate voted on a bill primarily dealing with Ukraine aid — 39 GOP senators supported it.
Despite hopes for an amendment process, no such votes were taken, in part because Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky sought to drag out the passage of the bill as long as possible. Under the Senate’s arcane rules, amendment votes are typically used to speed up the passage of a bill.
Many Republican lawmakers, particularly on the hard right, have been fervently opposed to further aid to Ukraine, arguing that it does not serve American interests and that the money would be better spent domestically in the United States.
Owing to that opposition, it’s unclear what path the bill would have through the House. House Speaker Mike Johnson has signaled some level of support for Ukraine aid since ascending to the top job, but he regularly voted against it as a rank-and-file lawmaker.
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has threatened to call a vote on ousting Johnson from the speakership if he allows another vote on Ukraine aid.
Meanwhile, some progressive Democrats are likely to oppose the package if it does not include conditions on Israel.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and two other Democrats voted against the bill on Tuesday.
Here are the 22 GOP senators who voted for the bill:
John Boozman of Arkansas
Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia
Bill Cassidy of Louisiana
Susan Collins of Maine
John Cornyn of Texas
Kevin Cramer of North Dakota
Mike Crapo of Idaho
Joni Ernst of Iowa
Chuck Grassley of Iowa
John Hoeven of North Dakota
John Kennedy of Lousiana
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
Jerry Moran of Kansas
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
James Risch of Idaho
Mitt Romney of Utah
Mike Rounds of South Dakota
Dan Sullivan of Alaska
John Thune of South Dakota
Thom Tillis of North Carolina
Roger Wicker of Mississippi
Todd Young of Indiana