Senate Pushes Through Aid Bill for Multiple Foreign Countries

It PASSED: 70 to 29


The debate surrounding the provision of foreign aid to America’s allies remains intense within Capitol Hill. Following the rejection of the border security bill by Republican lawmakers, senators opted to remove the immigration policies from the legislation. Consequently, a significant majority has now approved the revised version of the bill.

On February 13th, the Senate approved a $95 billion national security plan aimed at offering assistance to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan. The proposal was supported by a vote of 70 to 29, with twenty-two Conservatives aligning with Democrats to endorse the initiative. However, Democratic Senators Jeff Merkley from Oregon and Peter Welch from Vermont, along with Independent Senator Bernie Sanders also from Vermont, opposed the bill.

The package includes $14 billion allocated to Israel to support its efforts against Hamas, $60 billion designated for Ukraine to aid in its defense against the Russian invasion, and nearly $5 billion designated for the Indo-Pacific region.

Over the weekend, certain Republicans engaged in filibustering the legislation. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) notably filibustered for four hours on February 9th. He argued against sending “billions of dollars to Ukraine” while emphasizing the issue of border security within America. It’s noteworthy that the legislation initially contained rigorous border security provisions. 

However, Lee and his Republican counterparts declined to support the bipartisan bill following purported influence from former President Donald Trump, who allegedly encouraged its defeat.

Lee also appeared on X Spaces with Elon Musk, where he criticized the Ukrainian government, stating that they are not “choirboys” or “Boy Scouts,” but rather are corrupt. Musk, in turn, urged lawmakers to cease aiding Ukraine, arguing that doing so would only prolong the conflict and result in more soldier casualties.

The Senate proceeded to advance the bill through a cloture motion, which demanded a two-thirds majority, ultimately securing passage in the chamber. The legislation is now slated to advance to the House of Representatives. However, there’s a high likelihood of it failing there, particularly if Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) opts not to schedule it for a vote.