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Senate to Remain in Session to Pass House’s Ukraine and Israel Package

Ukraine, Israel aid package (Credits: Reuters)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) informed his colleagues on Friday that they should be prepared to remain in session over the weekend to complete work on a long-delayed package to fund the war in Ukraine, Israel, and other emergency security needs.

Schumer emphasized that senators may need to stay at the Capitol to also finish work on legislation to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act‘s (FISA) warrantless surveillance program, which expires at 11:59 p.m. on Friday.

Schumer announced, “For the information of my colleagues, members should plan to be here over the weekend if necessary to work on both FISA and the supplemental.” He added that the House is expected to pass the emergency foreign aid package, which has been divided into four separate bills, on Saturday.

Senate passes foreign aid package (Credits: NPR)

“The House is scheduled to take up the supplemental tomorrow,” he said. “It would finally deliver critical aid to Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific, as well as humanitarian assistance. We will see how things go in the lower chamber over the next day or so, and I hope the House gets this legislation passed without further delay.”

Schumer made his comments after the House voted overwhelmingly, 316-94, to advance a rule to begin floor debate on four bills that would provide military aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, along with humanitarian assistance to Gaza and other war zones.

House Democrats assisted Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) in passing the rule, offsetting the opposition of 55 conservative Republicans who voted against it. Given the strong bipartisan vote to pass the rule governing debate on the foreign aid bills, Senate leaders anticipate the legislation will pass on Saturday.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (Credits: The Hill)

Schumer has predicted for months that the $95 billion emergency foreign aid package the Senate passed in February would receive a large bipartisan vote if it came up on the House floor.

The Democratic leader announced his goal is to pass the reauthorization of FISA’s expiring Section 702 authority by the midnight deadline but stated he has yet to reach a deal with colleagues such as Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on considering amendments to the bill.

Schumer said, “We’re still trying to see if there’s a path to get through this quickly. The work is not done, so we’re going to keep at it. We want to get FISA done as soon as we can, because it’s very important for our national security.”

He noted that getting a deal to speed up the debate on the FISA bill requires the consent of all 100 senators. “As everyone knows, any one member can halt progress in this chamber, so both sides need to fully cooperate if we want to get FISA done,” he said.

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