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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has decided to detach the bipartisan border security proposal from an urgent defense spending bill, aiming to forward a package that includes funding for the war in Ukraine, Israel, the Indo-Pacific region, and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine and Gaza. This adjustment arises as the initial border security measures, introduced Sunday, faced overwhelming disapproval from Senate Republicans.

According to a Democratic aide speaking to Reuters, Schumer anticipates Republican resistance to this comprehensive package. The aide said, “Schumer has told Senate Dems he is planning to put the negotiated supplemental on the floor without the border security piece after the expected failed cloture vote Wednesday.”

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This move, referred to as “Plan B,” involves stripping the border security elements from the defense funding bill following a likely blockade by Republicans. Schumer had previously informed his caucus and the White House of his contingency strategy: “Schumer told members of his caucus and the White House last week that if the Republicans scuttled the bipartisan border and supplemental agreement, he had prepared a plan to use the motion to reconsider to force Republicans to vote on the supplemental without border [reforms],” the aide added.

This procedural maneuvering sets the stage for two critical votes. The first vote will challenge senators to end debate on a legislative vehicle that, at that juncture, is expected to encompass border security reforms within the Ukraine funding package — a proposition poised for Republican rejection. Following this, Schumer plans a second vote on the same legislative vehicle, this time expressly excluding the border security reforms, focusing solely on funding for Ukraine, Israel, and other foreign aid priorities.


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