Supplemental Funding for Israel, Ukraine, and the Border
Senate negotiators are drafting the text of a bipartisan border security deal. Majority Leader Schumer said, "it's certainly not a done deal yet." Top Democratic negotiator Sen. Murphy (D-CT) said that the policy changes were nearly decided, but that he and other negotiators were working with appropriators on funding issues. Murphy stated, "we can't create new funding and new programming and then not fund it. So, if you're committed to the policy change, you have to be equally committed to funding the policy change." Both Sens. Schumer (D-NY) and McConnell (R-KY) stressed that senators must remember what is at stake, referring to funding for Ukraine's defense against Russian attacks. Republicans are conditioning their support for additional aid on the border deal. When the deal is finalized, Schumer and McConnell will need to garner 60 votes to pass the bill, which is also expected to include aid for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan.
Additionally, House Democrats are strategizing on how to pass a war aid/border package when the Senate passes their legislation. With the lack of a border deal holding up aid to Ukraine, some Democrats have begun considering using a discharge petition to trigger a House floor vote on the Senate legislation. It would require 218 signatures for the petition. Speaker Johnson has warned he would not accept a war aid bill unless it contains the major "elements" of a House-passed border measure (HR 2) that Democrats strongly oppose. Per Speaker Johnson, “my position is clear -- any bill that does not solve the problem and secure the border is not acceptable to the House." However, a discharge petition, if backers rounded up enough GOP signatures, could be a way around such threats, as Speaker Johnson would not have any direct control over that process since he would not be the one putting the bill on the floor.