Schumer aiming to bring bill tying Israel and Ukraine funding to Senate floor next week

(CNN) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday in a letter to his Democratic colleagues that he will bring a national security package to the floor that ties together Israel and Ukraine funding as soon as next week.

“One of the most important tasks we must finish is taking up and passing a funding bill to ensure we as well as our friends and partners in Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific region have the necessary military capabilities to confront and deter our adversaries and competitors,” Schumer, a New York Democrat, said in a “Dear Colleague” letter.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Mike Johnson have insisted that GOP support for more Ukraine funding is contingent on tightening immigration laws amid growing concerns about security at the US-Mexico border. Schumer noted that negotiations over the border piece of the package continued over the Thanksgiving holiday.

“The biggest holdup to the national security assistance package right now is the insistence by our Republican colleagues on partisan border policy as a condition for vital Ukraine aid. This has injected a decades old, hyper-partisan issue into overwhelmingly bipartisan priorities,” he said.

Schumer urged Democrats to work with Republicans “quickly to help push for a bipartisan path forward in the coming weeks.”

Even if the measure passed in the Senate, it would face challenges in the House, where many conservatives have balked at additional funding for Ukraine or tying funding of Ukraine and Israel together. Johnson’s bill earlier this month to provide only Israel with funding, along with implementing IRS cuts, was quickly rejected by Senate Democrats.

And Schumer could also face problems from the left flank of his party, with some progressives suggesting that aid to Israel be tied to humanitarian demands. Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy on Sunday said he was open to placing conditions on any aid to Israel, with the aim of reducing civilian casualties in Gaza.

The White House’s funding request in October included $13.6 billion in additional funding for the border that would allow the hiring of 1,300 Border Patrol agents and 1,600 asylum officers who could help speed up the processing of migrants with asylum claims. It also included more than $61 billion for aid to Ukraine, more than $14 billion for Israel, and $7.4 billion for Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region.

“Senators should be prepared to stay in Washington until we finish our work,” Schumer said in his letter, adding they should also expect “long days and nights, and potentially weekends in December.”

Schumer added that senators will have classified briefing on Ukraine soon.

He also vowed to bring up a resolution to temporarily change the Senate rules, allowing the chamber to bypass GOP Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s “brazen and reckless” hold on top military nominees by the end of the year. This would need Republican support on the Senate floor.

The Alabama Republican’s nine-month hold is affecting nearly 400 military officials who need Senate confirmation for their promotions. Typically, nominees are confirmed quickly by voice vote, but Tuberville has placed a hold on them until the Pentagon changes its policy that provides reimbursements for service personnel who travel out of state for reproductive services.

Tuberville has remained unmoved despite pressure from those in his own party who claim the hold is hurting military readiness and undermining national security.

CNN’s Lauren Fox and Manu Raju contributed to this report.

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