Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked aid for Israel and Ukraine from advancing in a key vote, in protest over a dispute about border security policy, CNN reported.
The tally for the procedural vote was 49 to 51, falling short of the 60-vote threshold needed to proceed. At the end of the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer switched his vote to “no” – a procedural move that will allow him to bring up the measure again in the future.
Republicans have insisted that the foreign aid must be paired with major border security policy changes. There have been talks to try to find consensus, but no bipartisan deal has been reached over the contentious issue.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said ahead of the vote that Republicans would block the bill when it came up for consideration because they believe it does not adequately address border security.
Schumer, meanwhile, has accused Republicans of “hostage taking” as the path to passing aid to Ukraine and Israel remains unclear.
In November, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill that would have provided $14.3 billion in aid to Israel.
US Senate Democrats later blocked the bill, taking issue with the bill over the fact that it would enact funding cuts to the Internal Revenue Service and that it did not include aid to Ukraine.