Younger Senate Republicans ripped GOP leadership after the Senate passed a $95 billion foreign aid bill without addressing the migrant crisis at the southern border.
Early Tuesday morning, the Senate voted 70 to 29 in favor of President Biden’s requested supplemental package to provide aid for Ukraine, Israel, Gaza and the Indo-Pacific. The bill passed after weeks of contentious debate during which bipartisan negotiators proposed a deal on border security funding that was rejected by conservatives and declared dead on arrival in the House of Representatives.
“This morning the America last caucus got a $61 billion aid package out of the Senate. But they paid dearly for this small win. The House won’t pass the current bill,” Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, posted on X after the supplemental package passed.
“We must fix our country before devoting more resources to Ukraine,” Vance added in a summary statement of the complaint from the 22 Republicans who voted against the package.
SENATE PASSES CONTROVERSIAL FOREIGN AID BILL SENDING BILLIONS TO UKRAINE, ISRAEL AND TAIWAN
The U.S. has already spent more than $100 billion in aid for Ukraine since its war against Russia began in Feb. 2022.
The funding bill passed Tuesday morning includes $60 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel, $9 billion in humanitarian assistance for Gaza and nearly $5 billion for the Indo-Pacific. Democrats brought the package up for a vote after Republicans had blocked a previous $118 billion package that included numerous bipartisan border and immigration provisions.
The final legislation contained no border security provisions and was panned by several of the younger members of the Republican conference.
“Nearly every Republican Senator under the age of 55 voted NO on this America Last bill,” 48-year-old Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Mo., observed on X. “15 out of 17 elected since 2018 voted NO. Things are changing just not fast enough.”
Republican hardliners attempted to introduce amendments with border security provisions, but they were voted down.
REPUBLICANS ATTEMPT TO GET HARDLINE BORDER SECURITY BILL INTO FOREIGN AID PACKAGE
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, introduced an amendment identical to the House’s immigration bill, H.R. 2, which would restore most Trump-era restrictions, hire additional border patrol officers and tighten asylum screenings.
“I cannot in good conscience support this bill without real, substantial additions to bolster border security,” Cruz said in a statement after the bill passed without his amendment.
“… [W]e must defend our nation first. I will vote to support aid to our allies, but only after America’s border is secured. No state bears the brunt of this burden more heavily than Texas, which is on the front lines of a literal invasion of millions upon millions of illegal aliens,” Cruz added.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who led the filibuster effort along with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said the Republicans who voted in favor of the package “turn[ed] on the commitment they made to each other and to their voters and to our House Republican colleagues down the hall.”
SENATE REPUBLICANS PREPARE FOR LONG HAUL IN FIGHT OVER UKRAINE, ISRAEL AID
The split in the Senate GOP conference over foreign aid represents a generational divide as much as an ideological one. Lee is 52 years old. Cruz is 53, and Vance is 39. Paul is slightly older at 61 but still two decades younger than his colleague from Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 81.
McConnell fought hard for Ukraine funding, arguing it was in the national interest for the U.S. to remain a global defender of the sovereignty of nations against aggressive invaders like Russia.
“I know it’s become quite fashionable in some circles to disregard the global interests we have as a global power, to bemoan the responsibilities of global leadership,” McConnell said on the floor on Super Bowl Sunday. “To lament the commitment that has underpinned the longest drought of great power conflict in human history — this is idle work for idle minds, and it has no place in the United States Senate.”
Republican Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas became emotional in a floor speech in support of the bill, stating America has a responsibility to assist Ukraine against Russian aggression.
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“I believe in America first, but unfortunately America first means we have to engage in the world,” said Moran, 69.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, 76, called the vote to provide military assistance to Ukraine “the most important vote we will ever take as U.S. senators.”
The supplemental package now heads to the House, where 52-year-old House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has already declared it a nonstarter without border security funding.
“The mandate of national security supplemental legislation was to secure America’s own border before sending additional foreign aid around the world,” Johnson said in a statement Monday. “It is what the American people demand and deserve.”
Fox News Digital’s Jamie Joseph contributed to this report.