Houston Chronicle

Vote on foreign aid signals Senate backing


As a growing number of Republican­s oppose U.S. aid to Ukraine, the Senate’s leaders are arguing in strong terms that the money is crucial to pushing back against Russian President Vladimir Putin and maintainin­g America’s global standing.

In the Capitol for a rare weekend session, the Senate voted again to move forward with the assistance as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky issued stark warnings about the consequenc­es of abandoning longtime U.S. allies in Europe.

The 67-27 test vote Sunday on the $95.3 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and other countries comes as former President Donald Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidenti­al nomination, is trying to kill the assistance and has escalated his attacks on the NATO military alliance.

The Senate is pushing through several procedural votes on the slimmed-down package after an attempt to pair it with legislatio­n to stem migration at the U.S. border collapsed.

Objections from Republican­s adamantly opposed to the aid have delayed quick action, forcing the weekend votes as negotiatio­ns continue over potential amendments to the legislatio­n.

But even if the Senate does pass the package, its future is deeply uncertain in the House, where a large majority of GOP lawmakers are firmly allied with Trump.

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