Senate Republicans blocked a bipartisan border package Wednesday, scuttling months of negotiations with Democrats on legislation intended to cut back record numbers of illegal border crossings.
Many Republicans said the election-year compromise wasn't enough, even as supporters of the bill insisted it was the best possible in divided government.
The 49-50 vote, far short of the 60 ayes needed to take up the bill, came after most Republicans said they would vote against the legislation, which also includes $60 billion in wartime aid to Ukraine and $14 billion for Israel. GOP lawmakers had insisted that the money for conflicts abroad be paired with help for the U.S. border.
Forcing the showdown with Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said earlier that he would try to salvage the wartime funding, and would next push ahead on a crucial test vote for tens of billions of dollars for Kyiv, Israel and other U.S. allies — a modified package with the border portion stripped out.
It is unclear if enough Republicans will vote to move ahead with the standalone legislation for the wartime aid, which also would need 60 votes in the 51-49 Senate. If it did pass, it would still take days for the Senate to reach a final vote.
“We still need to secure America’s borders before sending another dime overseas,” Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah wrote in a post on X.
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