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Senate Passes Foreign Aid Bill: ‘Only the House Can Stop It Now’

senate-passes-foreign-aid-bill:-‘only-the-house-can-stop-it-now’
Senate Passes Foreign Aid Bill: ‘Only the House Can Stop It Now’

It took all night, but the Senate passed a $95 billion foreign aid package Tuesday morning minutes before the sun rose on Capitol Hill.

Despite the imagery, the bill’s prospects of become law appear dark. But that didn’t stop the bill’s champions from gloating after a decisive 70 to 29 vote.

“History settles every account,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a statement. “And today, on the value of American leadership and strength, history will record that the Senate did not blink.”

Yet less than half of McConnell’s conference voted with him in another sign that the conference – and the party – are moving away from the long-time Republican leader.

“Most Senate Republicans vote no. McConnell of course votes with the Democrats,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) posted on X after the vote. “He is Biden’s chief foreign policy supporter these days. That position is an island – and the gulf between it and the rest of America is only getting wider.”

Most Senate Republicans vote no. McConnell of course votes with the Democrats. He is Biden’s chief foreign policy supporter these days. That position is an island – and the gulf between it & the rest of America is only getting wider

— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) February 13, 2024

Democrats blocked motions to allow amendments, even Democrat amendments, in a sign that the skids were greased for the Schumer-McConnell agreements.

In return, the bill’s opponents refused to yield to a time agreement to expedite the vote, taking turns speaking against the bill and the process on the Senate floor until the clock expired just after 5:00 a.m. EST and the vote began.

Ultimately, the bill’s 29 opponents, which included Democrat Sens. Jeff Berkley (D-OR) and Peter Welch (D-VT), could not prevail.

McConnell wasn’t the only politician taking a victory lap. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the Senate, singling out Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and McConnell.

Zelensky posted a statement on X claiming “continued U.S. assistance helps to save human lives from Russian terrors. It means that life will continue in our cities and will triumph over war.”

I am grateful to @SenSchumer, @LeaderMcConnell, and every US Senator who has supported continued assistance to Ukraine as we fight for freedom, democracy, and the values we all hold dear.

For us in Ukraine, continued US assistance helps to save human lives from Russian terror.…

— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 13, 2024

Despite those claims, the war continues draining Ukrainian lives, with the casualties —  killed and wounded — approaching 400,000, as well as hundreds of thousands more who have left the country likely never to return.

The war has been at a stalemate for over a year, with no significant lands captured by either side as Russia continues draining Ukrainian – and Western – resources.

Opponents to endless funding of the aid package have asked for the Biden Administration to lay out a path for victory in Ukraine, to no avail. They’ve also asked for increased accountability to ensure the notoriously corrupt Ukrainian government uses the money properly.

Aid supporters insist the need for aid is too timely to slow down with those unnecessary speed bumps.

The Senate vote will do little to change the aid package’s trajectory in the House, where it is unlikely to even receive a vote.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) issued a statement Monday night indicating the House will not bring up the bill, making clear his desire for Congress to first address the southern border.

“In the absence of having received any single border policy change from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own will on these important matters,” Johnson said. “America deserves better than the Senate’s status quo.”

After the vote, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), one of the leaders of the opposition to the bill, succinctly captured the bill’s future, saying “only the House can stop it now.”

I left it all on the field.

I did everything I possibly could to stop it.

Only the House can stop it now. pic.twitter.com/j73RGu2X4Z

— Mike Lee (@BasedMikeLee) February 13, 2024

Barring a turnaround from Johnson, that seems exactly what the House will do.

Bradley Jaye is a Capitol Hill Correspondent for Breitbart News. Follow him on X/Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.

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