The Senate on Thursday is expected to consider a bill to provide assistance to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan after Republicans in the chamber rejected a bipartisan border security and foreign aid bill.
The scheduled Thursday afternoon vote is procedural, on whether to move to the question of taking up the foreign aid package, and would require at least 60 votes for approval. If the motion is successful, the chamber would need to take additional floor votes to advance the bill to the House.
The Senate voted 49-50 to sink the border bill Wednesday afternoon, with Republicans unified in voting to filibuster the agreement they had initially called for, which they now argued didn’t do enough to combat the record-high migrant crossings at the southern border.
Five Democrats joined Republicans in voting against the border bill, which fell short of the 60 votes needed to proceed. Only four Republicans voted for it: Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and James Lankford of Oklahoma, the top Republican negotiator on the deal.
Following the unsuccessful vote on the $118 billion package, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., stated his plans to bring up an Israel and Ukraine aid package that would leave out border security provisions. The Senate, however, was recessed after it lacked the 60 votes needed to proceed with the package Wednesday night.
Schumer said the Senate would recess until noon Thursday to give Republicans “the night to figure themselves out.”
Hours before Senate Republicans blocked the bipartisan border security bill, Schumer told Democrats about his plans to put forward a supplemental aid package without border security provisions. He had expected the procedural vote on the bipartisan border security bill to fail, and planned on calling another 60-vote threshold vote for the supplemental aid package that includes aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.
In addition to foreign aid, the pared-down package would also include provisions targeting fentanyl trafficking, a Senate Democratic aide told NBC News.
The new foreign aid bill had already been met with skepticism from Senate Republicans during a lunch earlier Wednesday, with heated discussion among members over whether to support it, three sources in the room told NBC News. The Republican whip, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, told the members that they would be voting on the measure eventually, so “we need to stop being pussies and just vote,” two sources said.