Supplemental Funding for Ukraine, Israel Stalls in Senate Over Border Debate

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators debated how to proceed with aid for Ukraine, Israel, the Indo-Pacific and others. It became clear Wednesday evening, after a 51-49 vote in the Senate, that the bill would not move forward.

The national security supplemental bill needed 60 votes for cloture, which would have allowed the full Senate to consider the bill and debate amendments. 

In October, President Biden requested over $100 billion for national security. The supplemental request included $61.4 billion for Ukraine and aid for Israel, Taiwan, humanitarian relief in Gaza and funding for personnel at the southern border of the U.S.  

Biden urged Congress to pass the supplemental bill as a “comprehensive, bipartisan agreement.” 

The bill fell short Wednesday evening after it failed to pick up necessary support from Republicans, who remain adamant on comprehensive border reform. Republicans say serious border reform is necessary before more aid is sent to Ukraine. 

According to the Associated Press, to date, the United States has committed more than $44 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022. 

This afternoon- before it was clear the bill would not move forward- Senate Democrats urged Republicans to get on board with the supplemental bill. 

“They will be able to write and put forward the first amendment to this bill to address their border security concerns. This is a real opportunity,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow (D- MI), referring to Senate Democrats’ olive branch to Republicans if the bill were to move toward a full floor vote. 

“We need to defend Ukraine against Russia’s illegal and violent invasion. We need to support our ally, Israel, in the aftermath of the horrific terrorist attacks. We need to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches innocent civilians in Gaza,” said Stabenow. 

The Senate remains split on the issue. Republicans say Democrats are not willing to compromise on their immigration and border demands. Recent bipartisan workgroups and meetings to find compromise have been less fruitful than Senate leaders were hoping.