22 Republicans Join Dems In Passing Massive Aid Bill

With the help of 22 Republicans, the Democrat-led Senate passed a massive foreign aid spending bill earlier this week, only days after the GOP scuttled a bipartisan border security bill.

On Tuesday, the Senate passed the $95 billion that is labeled for emergency defense funding. It includes an additional $60 billion in aid for Ukraine, as well as military aid to Israel.

The vote came in at 70-29, which was more than enough support to avoid the Senate filibuster.

A small group of Republicans in the Senate, led by Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky, tried to stop the bill from passing. But, their efforts were to no avail.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and 21 of his other cronies voted in favor of the bill, which ultimately allowed it to advance through the upper chamber.

Only two Democrats voted against the bill — Peter Welch of Vermont and Jeff Merkley of Oregon — as well as Independent Senator Bernie Sanders. All three said they had concerns about continuing to support the military campaign that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is carrying out in Gaza.

The bill provides $14 billion in extra security assistance to Israel.

Chuck Schumer, the majority leader in the Senate, praised the bill for being a declaration that “American leadership will not waver, not falter, not fail.”

He continued:

“Today, we make [Russian President] Vladimir Putin regret the day he questioned America’s resolve. Today, we send a clear bipartisan message of resolve to our allies in NATO.”

McConnell was attacked heavily once again by members of his own party. In addition to Lee and Paul, Senators Rick Scott of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas criticized the bill, saying that Ukraine shouldn’t be getting any more aid from the U.S. at this point.

Lee even said that McConnell was keeping GOP senators “in the dark” about the negotiations that took place for the border security deal. He also accused the Republican leader of rejecting a proposal by some senators that would’ve linked additional aid sent to Ukraine to how many illegal immigrants cross into the U.S. through the southern border on a monthly basis.

On Sunday, McConnell gave a floor speech in which he said that American credibility with allies and its own security would be at risk if this bill were not passed.

He said:

“I know it’s become quite fashionable in some circles to disregard the global interests we have as a global power. To bemoan the responsibility of global leadership. To lament the commitment that has underpinned the longest drought of great power conflict in human history.

“This is idle work for idle minds. And it has no place in the United States Senate.”

While this bill has passed through the Senate, it is likely to be “dead on arrival” once it gets to the lower chamber. House Speaker Mike Johnson has already said as much in recent weeks, as his conference is looking to focus instead of domestic security rather than the security of foreign nations.