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US Senate votes to begin working on Ukraine, Israel aid without bipartisan border deal

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-02-09 03:30

This file photo taken on Dec 4, 2019 shows a view of the Capitol Hill in Washington DC, the US. [Photo/Xinhua]

WASHINGTON -- The Democratic-controlled US Senate on Thursday advanced the aid for Ukraine, Israel and other foreign allies through a key procedure vote, but the legislation is expected to face strong GOP opposition because it's untied to major reforms Republicans have said are vital to border security.

The vote, referred to as a legislative vehicle, was passed 67-32. It was called by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, in an effort to salvage the 60 billion US dollars in aid for Ukraine, as well as some 35 billion dollars for Israel, other foreign allies and national security priorities.

Calling the vote a "good first step," Schumer said the Senate will stay in session until "the job is done."

Schumer took the step to split off the foreign aid from a bipartisan border security deal, which was included in an earlier version of the legislation that Senate Republicans rejected Wednesday, because the overhaul to the country's immigration policy was so controversial that it remains an unovercomable roadblock to approving the aid money for Ukraine and Israel.

But the current bill still faces a high probability of being rejected by the House of Representatives, as Speaker Mike Johnson -- who failed to pass a standalone bill Tuesday containing only the Israel aid -- reportedly said he would not put funding for Ukraine up for a vote in his chamber absent the fulfillment of the border demand pursued by the House Republican Conference.

As regards the subsequent process in the Senate, the bill will need to go through at least five more votes before arriving in the House, according to a report by The Hill.

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