Senate to stay in session to pass House’s Ukraine, Israel package

Senate to stay in session to pass House’s Ukraine, Israel package

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned Senate colleagues Friday they should be prepared to stay in session through the weekend to finish work on a long-stalled package to fund the war in Ukraine, Israel and other emergency security needs.

Schumer pointed out that senators may have to stick around the Capitol to also finish work on legislation to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act’s (FISA) warrantless surveillance program, which expires at 11:59 p.m. Friday.

“For the information of my colleagues, members should plan to be here over the weekend if necessary to work on both FISA and the supplemental,” he announced.

The Democratic leader then said the House is expected to pass the emergency foreign aid package, which has been broken into four separate bills, Saturday.

“The House is scheduled to take up the supplemental tomorrow,” he said. “It would at last deliver critical aid to Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific and humanitarian assistance. We will see how things go in the lower chamber over the next day or so, and I hope the House gets this legislation passed without further delay.”

House advances Ukraine, Israel aid as Dems help Speaker Johnson, GOP

Schumer made his comments after the House voted overwhelmingly, 316-94, to advance a rule to begin floor debate on four bills that would provide military aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, along with humanitarian assistance to Gaza and other war zones.

House Democrats stepped in to help Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to pass the rule and offset the opposition of 55 conservative Republicans who voted no.

Given the strong bipartisan vote to pass the rule governing debate on the foreign aid bills, Senate leaders expect the legislation to pass Saturday.

Schumer has predicted for months that the $95 billion emergency foreign aid package the Senate passed in February would get a large bipartisan vote if it came up on the House floor.

The Democratic leader announced his goal is to pass the reauthorization of FISA’s expiring Section 702 authority by the midnight deadline but said he has yet to reach a deal with colleagues such as Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on considering amendments to the bill.

“We’re still trying to see if there’s a path to get through this quickly. The work is not done, so we’re going to keep at it. We want to get FISA done as soon as we can, because it’s very important for our national security,” Schumer said.

He noted that getting a deal to speed up the debate on the FISA bill needs the consent of all 100 senators.

“As everyone knows, any one member can halt progress in this chamber, so both sides need to fully cooperate if we want to get FISA done,” he said.

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