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Senate approves bill to provide defense funding for Israel, Ukraine

House Speaker Johnson has signaled he will not advance the bill as the GOP claims the U.S.-Mexico border remains a higher priority.
Senate approves bill to provide defense funding for Israel, Ukraine
Posted at 5:14 AM, Feb 13, 2024

After an all-night session, the Senate approved a bill that would provide funding for Israel, Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific by a 70-29 vote early Tuesday.

The bill provides $95.3 billion in foreign aid, with $60 billion earmarked for Ukraine's defense and $14.1 billion in defense aid for Israel. The bill also sets aside $9.2 billion in humanitarian assistance for Gaza and $4.8 billion in aid for the Indo-Pacific. 

What is notably not in the bill is funding for the U.S.-Mexico border. Republicans have gone back and forth over whether to include funding and policy changes to border security within this bill. 

Despite a strong bipartisan approval in the Senate, House Speaker Mike Johnson indicated in a statement late Monday he will not support the Senate's bill. 

Johnson said the Senate's bill does not address concerns he has at the U.S.-Mexico border. Conversely, some Republicans have urged removing the border component in order to get the security aid for Israel and Ukraine approved.

"House Republicans were crystal clear from the very beginning of discussions that any so-called national security supplemental legislation must recognize that national security begins at our border," Johnson said. 

His stance stands in stark contrast to Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, who voted in favor of the legislation. 

"It is no exaggeration to say that the eyes of the world are on the United States Senate," McConnell said. "Our allies and partners are hoping that the indispensable nation — the leader of the free world — has the resolve to continue. And our adversaries are hoping for something quite different. Friends and foes alike pay close attention to what we say here. And how we vote."

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