Senate to take up Biden’s Israel & Ukraine aid request next week

November 27, 2023

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced Sunday that he plans to hold a vote on President Biden’s request for aid to Israel and Ukraine as soon as the week of December 4.

In a letter to Democratic colleagues, Schumer wrote, “One of the most important tasks we must finish is taking up and passing a funding bill to ensure we as well as our friends and partners in Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific region have the necessary military capabilities to confront and deter our adversaries and competitors.”

President Biden has requested $106 billion in new spending to help fund Israel in its war against Hamas, Ukraine in its war against Russia, and beefed-up security on the U.S.-Mexico border, but that request was not taken up by Congress when it passed its latest round of stopgap funding earlier this month.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) have insisted that GOP support for more funding to Ukraine be contingent on tightening immigration laws.

Schumer noted in his letter, “The biggest holdup to the national security assistance package right now is the insistence by our Republican colleagues on partisan border policy as a condition for vital Ukraine aid. This has injected a decades old, hyper-partisan issue into overwhelmingly bipartisan priorities.”

The Senate Majority Leader urged his fellow Democrats to work with Republicans “quickly to help push for a bipartisan path forward in the coming weeks.”

But should the President’s request pass in the Senate, it would still face an uphill battle in the House where numerous far-right Republicans have rebuked any further funding for Ukraine. 

According to the current Congressional calendar, lawmakers have just 12 legislative days left this year, and 20 legislative days between now and January 19 to fund part of the government before the first of two deadlines in the current stopgap agreement comes due. 

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