Saturday, February 24, 2024

Ukraine assist in peril as Senate Republicans battle to chart course

The Senate cleared an preliminary procedural hurdle on Wednesday, 58-41, however that vote revealed issues, as a result of the subsequent one wants 60 votes. A number of Republicans who’re inclined to assist billions extra in assist for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan ended up voting towards that movement, signaling the problem forward. Flipping these votes is proving extraordinarily difficult.

Democrats haven’t obtained a proposal from Republicans that clears the trail to 60 votes, based on an individual acquainted with the negotiations. And a few Democrats privately are taking a extra pessimistic view as as to whether Ukraine funding can ever go on account of the stalled negotiations. Former President Donald Trump looms over a lot of it along with his skepticism of Ukraine assist and assaults on an try to beef up border safety, demonstrating extra sway over the social gathering than GOP leaders.

And simply hours after rejecting
Sen. James Lankford’s (R-Okla.) bipartisan border deal, Senate Republicans are urgent for votes on amendments, together with a hardline border safety invoice handed by the Home. They are saying that with out such an settlement they won’t transfer ahead.

“Our aspect isn’t prepared to surrender the border combat,” mentioned Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). “The query is what different kind of amendments do folks want to permit us to go to closing passage. However I’m considerably optimistic.”

Democrats sound open to giving them these votes, if befuddled concerning the social gathering’s stance.

“Republicans try to determine get out of the field they’re in,” mentioned Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). “They’ve gone from ‘should have border’ to ‘can’t have border’ to ‘should have border once more.’”

Schumer has mentioned he’s open to amendments, however he’s not publicly outlined his phrases or timeline for the way Republicans can proceed though senators mentioned Schumer is inclined to provide Republicans votes they should transfer the invoice ahead. Votes on amendments may kick the Senate session into the weekend, delaying the beginning of a scheduled two-week recess.

What’s extra, some senators are scheduled to go to the Munich Safety Convention — and stumbling on Ukraine assist could be a significant embarrassment for Senate Republicans.

“We’re hoping that Republicans are gonna get their act collectively,” mentioned Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).

GOP amendments may additionally considerably change the underlying textual content of the invoice and threat passage within the Senate — or additional complicate prospects within the Home. For the time being although, not one of the amendments being weighed by Republicans are anticipated to get 60 votes. Democrats may additionally suggest amendments as properly, including to the heaps of attainable change within the invoice.

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