In a rare Sunday vote, yesterday the Senate voted 67-27 to advance the bill providing $95 billion in aid for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan. There is still a long way to go, but if all 67 senators who voted for the procedural motion yesterday also vote for the actual bill, it has enough votes to break a potential filibuster.
Some senators want to attach money for the border to the bill, but it appears that ship sailed last week. Will this bill make it? The leaders of both parties want it to pass. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said: "Our partners don't have the luxury of pretending that the world's most dangerous aggressors are someone else's problem. And neither do we." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said: "We don't wield American strength frivolously. We do it because it's in our own interest. We equip our friends to face our shared adversaries, so we're less likely to have to spend American lives to defeat them." Both of them really mean it. When Russian President Vladimir Putin orders Donald Trump to denounce the bill, he probably will, but enough senators understand the importance of the bill that it will probably pass, even against Trump's wishes.
What happens when the bill gets to the House is another matter. Many evangelicals consider defending Israel a top priority because they believe that when Jesus returns, he is going to skip the many attractions of New York and Paris and make a beeline for Jerusalem. It had better be there. So, House members from evangelical-heavy districts will vote against a bill containing aid for Israel at their peril. On the other hand, some progressive Democrats might want to vote against a bill giving aid to Israel, but many of them still support Ukraine. Of course, if Speaker Mike Johnson refuses to bring it up for a vote, everyone will be saved from embarrassment, but then Joe Biden will pound the Republicans on this and that will hurt them in suburbs full of college-educated voters. Sometimes you can't just kick the can down the road. (V)