WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday voted to begin work on a package of wartime funding for Ukraine, Israel and other U.S. allies, but doubts remained about support from Republicans who earlier rejected a carefully negotiated compromise that also included border enforcement policies.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the latest vote a “good first step” and pledged that the Senate would “keep working on this bill — until the job is done.”
The legislation's path remained uncertain because Senate leaders had not agreed to a process to limit the debate time for the bill. It could take days, possibly longer, for the Senate to reach a final vote.
The vote to begin work on the new package cleared 67-32, with 17 Republicans along with Democrats voting to move forward. Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont who opposes much of the aid for Israel, voted against it.
The New York Democrat has tried to salvage $60 billion in aid for Ukraine, as well as roughly $35 billion for Israel, other allies and national security priorities, after the collapse this week of a bipartisan agreement to tie border enforcement policies to the package. Republicans are divided about how to proceed, and GOP leaders were still scrambling to find a plan that their senators could back.
Senate Republicans were fractured and frustrated as Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky tried to find a way to squeeze the assistance for…