The Senate’s Emergency Funding Bill for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and Border Security
On Sunday evening, the Senate released a $118.3 billion emergency funding bill for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and border security. The legislation is a result of months of negotiations between Republicans, who insisted on an overhaul of immigration policy and Democrats, who sought continued aid to Ukraine and now Israel in their respective wars. Majority Leader Schumer called the package "one of the most necessary and important pieces of legislation Congress has put forward in years." However, Minority Leader McConnell declined to immediately endorse it, saying in a statement that the Senate "must carefully consider the opportunity" before it. The bill includes:
- $60 billion to support Ukraine’s efforts against Russia, of which nearly $20 billion would replenish U.S. military weapons and equipment;
- $14.1 billion to go toward security assistance for Israel;
- $2.44 billion to support ongoing military operations in the Red Sea;
- $10 billion to support humanitarian assistance efforts in Gaza, the West Bank, and Ukraine; and
- $20.2 billion for border security,
- establishing procedures to expeditiously process asylum claims (individuals encountered at the border and placed in proceedings would have a credible fear interview within 90 days and have their case decided within 180 days of crossing the border);
- establishing Border Emergency Authority for three-years (closes the southern border if encounters reach a one-week average of 5,000 individuals per day, and grants discretionary authority to close the border at an average of 4,000 per day);
- increasing employment-based and family-based visas by 50,000 per year from FY25-FY29; and
- protecting children of H-1B visa holders from deportation if they came to the U.S. legally but aged out by turning 18 before getting a green card due to backlogs.
Speaker Johnson warned that "this bill is even worse than we expected. If this bill reaches the House, it will be dead on arrival." The Speaker stated that he's prepared a stand-alone, $17.6 billion supplemental funding package for Israel and U.S. troops in the Middle East to the floor. House Republicans in the Freedom Caucus have announced their opposition to the standalone package because “it isn’t fully paid for with offsetting spending cuts, signaling that Democratic support for passage will be needed.” The Caucus called the bill “extremely disappointing” and argued Johnson is now “surrendering to perceived pressure to move an even larger, but now unpaid for” aid package for Israel.