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Senate to vote on border bill and package that would aid Israel and Ukraine

The US Capitol in January.
The US Capitol in January. Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Republicans are expected to tank a major bipartisan border deal and foreign aid package with assistance for Ukraine and Israel in a vote on Wednesday amid a torrent of attacks on the bill by former President Donald Trump and top House Republicans.

Why this matters: A failed vote will amount to a stunning rebuke by Senate Republicans of a deal that would have enacted restrictive border measures and was crafted in part by one of their own members – James Lankford of Oklahoma, one of the chamber’s most conservative senators. Republicans had demanded that border security be part of the bill, but are now rejecting the deal after pressure from Trump, who is making the border a central campaign issue in his race for the White House.

The expected outcome is poised to leave aid for Ukraine and Israel, two key US allies, in jeopardy at a critical time. In the aftermath of the vote, lawmakers will face increasing pressure to pass foreign aid on its own without any border provisions – an uncertain prospect as some Republicans are opposed to further aid to Ukraine.

The Senate is set to hold an initial procedural vote on Wednesday that would require 60 votes for the bill to advance. There are expected to be defections on both sides of the aisle, but there has been a flood of GOP opposition to the deal in the wake of its release on Sunday evening.

If Republicans block the larger package as expected, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to force a procedural vote on an emergency aid package for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan — and drop the new border deal — according to a Democratic aide.

Read more about today’s expected vote.

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