Feb 7, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats strike fast after GOP’s border deal implosion

Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) listen at a news conference after a weekly policy luncheon with Senate Democrats at the U.S. Capitol Building

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The Senate is set to vote twice Wednesday on aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan — once including the embattled border deal and a second time without it, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has told Democrats.

Why it matters: Republicans will now be forced to decide whether they're willing to move forward on aid for U.S. allies without the border concessions they initially demanded.

  • The double vote means some Senate Republicans could vote twice in a day to block much-needed help for U.S. allies.

Zoom in: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has made clear his support for more aid to Ukraine.

  • "I think there's enough support to pass the Ukraine and Indo-Pacific and Israel bill in the Senate," Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) told reporters Tuesday. "The question is, what happens in the House?"
  • "Based on some of his comments, I think the Speaker actually intends to ultimately take up the Ukraine aid, but it's pretty clear they'd like to keep those separate," Cornyn continued.

How we got here: Republicans — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — insisted late last year that any emergency funding packages include border policy changes.

  • Months of bipartisan border negotiations followed.
  • Democrats got behind one of the strictest border bills in decades, but are furious at Republican for deserting the deal.
  • "I know that it's easy to lose your sense of outrage if you spend a lot of time in this building, but what has happened here over the last four months is outrageous," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Democrats' lead negotiator on the deal, said Tuesday.
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