With border deal derailed by GOP opposition, Democrats move to pass Ukraine aid

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D, N.Y., is planning to move a bill to approve additional aid for Ukraine and Israel after a procedural vote on a bipartisan border deal is expected to fail.

Jemal Countess/Getty Images for SEIU

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Jemal Countess/Getty Images for SEIU

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D, N.Y., is planning to move a bill to approve additional aid for Ukraine and Israel after a procedural vote on a bipartisan border deal is expected to fail.

Jemal Countess/Getty Images for SEIU

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will move to a “Plan B” to move aid to Ukraine and Israel after a procedural vote to advance a bipartisan border security package fails, as expected.

Schumer, D-N.Y., called out Republicans who demanded that aid to Ukraine be linked to changes in the Biden administration’s border policies, only to walk away from a bipartisan proposal that a top GOP senator and Republican leadership aides were involved in crafting.

He said he still hoped they would agree to debate the border deal, but had lined up a back up plan in consultation with the White House to move the billions in money for Ukraine, Israel and humanitarian assistance for civilians impacted in conflict zones.

“Well, we’re going to give them both options. We’ll take either one. We just hope they can come to yes on something,” Schumer said. He suggested to reporters he believed the national security funding bill minus the border deal had the 60 votes it would need to advance. He vowed there would be a “fair and open process on amendments.”

Congress devolves into chaos over border and national security funding

The top Senate Republican, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., signaled he favored moving the legislation supporting key allies. He said he took direction from GOP colleagues to work on a border deal, but once the House speaker called it “dead on arrival,” it was time to move on. “It looks to me and to most of our members that we have no real chance here to make a law,” McConnell told reporters Wednesday about the bipartisan border legislation.

Many of the same Senate Republicans who insisted they wouldn’t back a bill providing more money for Ukraine without changes to the country’s asylum system quickly reversed themselves once former President Trump, the likely 2024 presidential nominee, publicly lobbied lawmakers to kill any border deal.

Schumer blamed Trump for congressional Republicans, who for four months argued for security changes at the border, quickly coming out against a deal and saying they would vote no.

Biden tells Republicans to 'show some spine,' buck Trump, and back border bill

“Donald Trump wants chaos. Donald Trump does not want success at the border,” Schumer said.

House Speaker Mike Johnson sidestepped a question on whether he would allow a vote on the foreign assistance package if the Senate approved it.

“We’ll see what the Senate does,” Johnson told reporters.

The speaker suffered back-to-back embarrassments on Wednesday, when both a resolution to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Aleyandro Mayorkas and a standalone bill providing $18 billion for Israel both failed.

Schumer alluded to the turmoil in the House GOP ranks, saying, “the House is in chaos. It doesn’t behoove the speaker well to block everything because 30 hard-right people just want chaos like Donald Trump.”

If the Senate does approve a national security funding bill, it’s unclear whether it could pass the House. There is bipartisan support for additional money for both Ukraine and Israel, but a significant bloc of House Republicans oppose additional U.S. assistance for Ukraine. And one hard right lawmaker, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., has threatened to oust the speaker if he allowed a vote to approve any more aid.

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