Senators Unveil Bipartisan Border, Foreign Aid SupplementalFebruary 5, 2024
Bill text for the long-anticipated supplemental funding bill for foreign aid and border security was released over the weekend ahead of floor action in the Senate this week. In addition to funds for Ukraine, Israel, and the U.S.-Mexico Border, the roughly $119 billion package includes a series of border security and immigration policy reforms, the Senate Banking Committee’s Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act, as well as $400 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. While the measure does have support from Senate Leaders Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY), it remains to be seen whether it can earn the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate.
- Next Steps & Context. As of the current schedule, Leader Schumer is expected to tee up the first procedural vote on the package for Wednesday. However, with House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and former President Donald Trump — the frontrunner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination — voicing strong opposition to the bipartisan deal, it remains to be seen whether there is an appetite within the Senate Republican conference to try and move a measure that is essentially “dead-on-arrival” in the House. Notably, Speaker Johnson unveiled a new supplemental funding measure to provide aid to Israel in a move designed to further jam the bipartisan Senate agreement.
— THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS. Both chambers will gavel back into session today. While the Senate focuses on clearing pending nominations before moving onto consideration of the supplemental, House lawmakers are slated to take up a bill out of the Energy and Commerce Committee that seeks to ban the use of the quality-adjusted-life-years (QALY) metric in coverage and payment determinations under federal health care programs. Additionally, a vote is expected on a GOP-sponsored resolution that would impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. For today, lawmakers will consider several bills out of the Natural Resources Committee under suspension of the rules, including one that would reauthorize the Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief Act through 2028 (H.R. 4385).