The foreign aid bill, which has been stalled in the House of Representatives due to opposition from Republican opponents, now faces an uncertain future. Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson has objected to the bill’s lack of provisions to address the record influx of migrants across the US-Mexico border, stating that if no border policy changes are made, the House will have to pass its own measures on this matter.
Senator John Thune expressed concern that it is unclear what Johnson will do. Hard-line Republicans predict that the bill will fail completely when it comes before the House of Representatives. The legislation includes provisions for aid to Ukraine and Israel as well as support for partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
For months, Republicans have demanded that foreign aid include measures at America’s borders. However, a bipartisan border deal negotiated for months collapsed after former President Donald Trump called for it to be scrapped. Trump criticized foreign aid and said that assistance should come in the form of loans rather than direct payments.
President Joe Biden has been urging Congress to rush new aid to Ukraine and America’s partners as well as humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza. Ukrainian officials have warned that Russia continues its attacks and a weapons shortage may occur without additional funding. However, aid to Ukraine faces challenges in Congress, where Trump’s interests hold sway with Republicans who control the chamber by a slim majority.
Despite facing opposition from Republican opponents who stalled its passage with endless speeches, the foreign aid bill appeared certain to pass in the Senate on Tuesday with Senator Mitch McConnell securing support from at least 17 Republican representatives, more than enough to approve it with a 60-vote threshold needed in a 100-senator chamber.