Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced on Feb. 7 that he will put forth a bill to assist Israel and Ukraine following an expected failed vote on a $118 billion supplemental bill.
“Republicans said they would only do Ukraine and Israel, humanitarian aid with border. Then they said they would not do it with [the] border,” Mr. Schumer told reporters ahead of the vote.
“Well, we’re going to give them both options. We‘ll take either one. We just hope they can come to ’Yes’ on something.”
The second bill includes $60 billion in assistance for Ukraine amid its war with Russia and $14.1 billion for Israel amid its latest conflict with the terrorist group Hamas.
It also includes funding to deal with the fentanyl crisis in the United States.
The vote on proceeding to debate the initial supplemental is expected to fail as Republicans have expressed opposition—mainly to the border provisions.
Congressional Republicans have said they would not support assistance to Ukraine without tough border security measures.
Following the expected failed vote on the first supplemental bill, Mr. Schumer will bring up a second that does not include border security measures that is expected to pass the Senate, however, is likely to fail in the House.
House GOP leadership has already said that the first one is dead on arrival were it to pass the Senate.
It was negotiated between Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.).
Former President Donald Trump, the frontrunner in the GOP presidential primary, has come out against the initial supplemental.
Last year, a national security supplemental was torpedoed amid opposition from the congressional GOP, which called for pairing foreign assistance with border security measures.
The border provisions in the initial supplemental provide an emergency authority for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to shut down the border if an average of 4,000 daily encounters is reached over one week.
However, if average encounters reach 5,000 a day over the same period, then the DHS secretary is required to shut down the border.
The deal also limits President Joe Biden’s parole authority, a power that gives him the ability to allow more illegal immigrants into the country and raises the legal bar for the initial screening of asylum claims.
It would also expedite the asylum processing time to six months from many years.
The package doesn’t include a restoration of former President Donald Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy, which many Republicans have told The Epoch Times is a must-have.
Following the release of the initial supplemental, congressional Republicans expressed outrage.
“I can’t support a bill that doesn’t secure the border, provides taxpayer-funded lawyers to illegal immigrants, and gives billions to radical open borders groups. I’m a ‘no’,” Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) wrote on social media platform X.
Mr. Daines called on President Biden, who supports the agreement, to use his existing executive authority to secure the border.
“Throughout this process, I said I was listening and hoping for a solution, but to my disappointment, this bill misses the mark,” Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) wrote.
“The terrible $118 billion supplemental worsens the border invasion, incentivizes illegal entry, sends more taxpayer dollars to Ukraine, and exacerbates our fiscal crisis,” Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), the chairman of the hardline conservative House Freedom Caucus, wrote on X.
“Americans will see which Republicans are on their side based on who supports or opposes this disaster.”
The House GOP leadership—Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), and House GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.)—released a joint statement on Feb. 5 denouncing the bill.
“House Republicans oppose the Senate immigration bill because it fails in every policy area needed to secure our border and would actually incentivize more illegal immigration,” they stated.
“Any consideration of this Senate bill in its current form is a waste of time. It is dead on arrival in the House,” they added. “We encourage the U.S. Senate to reject it.”
Joseph Lord contributed to this report.