Senate Wraps Up 2023 Work, Leaving Border-Ukraine Deal for January

Senate Wraps Up 2023 Work, Leaving Border-Ukraine Deal for January

IMAGO/Bihlmayerfotografie via Reuters Connect

The Senate cast its final votes of the year Tuesday night, clearing an extension of Federal Aviation Administration funding until March via unanimous consent and confirming the 11 remaining military nominations that had been held up by Sen. Tommy Tuberville in protest against the Pentagon's abortion-travel policy. (In the end, Tuberville failed to win any concessions through his controversial, months-long blockade.)

Left unfinished as 2023 business wrapped up Wednesday: The supplemental spending package providing aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, as well as the complicated border policy changes still under negotiation by the Senate and White House.

“Challenging issues remain, but we are committed to addressing needs at the southern border and to helping allies and partners confront serious threats in Israel, Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific. The Senate will not let these national security challenges go unanswered,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a joint statement. “As negotiators work through remaining issues, it is our hope that their efforts will allow the Senate to take swift action on the national security supplemental early in the new year.”

What’s next: Congress is out until January 8, and while the Senate leaders continue to express optimism that a deal will get done, it’s not certain at this point that Congress will deliver more aid to Ukraine or pass border security reforms. Schumer expressed concern in an interview with Politico Wednesday that former president Donald Trump could scuttle any compromise agreement by attacking it. “Schumer said he expects roughly five Senate Republicans to vote for a deal no matter what, 15 to vote against it no matter what, and that the rest could all be swayed by Trump as the presidential primary formally kicks off next month,” Politico’s Ursula Perano, Burgess Everett and Anthony Adragna reported.