Former President Donald Trump attends a Nevada caucus party in Las Vegas on February 8, 2024.
The day before the Senate is set to begin voting on a $95.3 billion foreign aid package that would provide for Israel and Ukraine, former President Donald Trump on Saturday said the US should stop providing foreign aid unless it is structured as a loan.
“WE SHOULD NEVER GIVE MONEY ANYMORE WITHOUT THE HOPE OF A PAYBACK, OR WITHOUT“STRINGS” ATTACHED. THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA SHOULD BE “STUPID” NO LONGER!” Trump posted Saturday on Truth Social.
Trump’s comments come after he launched a torrent of attacks on a $118 billion bipartisan border deal and foreign aid package that Senate Republicans ended up blocking Wednesday. It was a stunning rebuke of legislation that would have enacted restrictive border measures and was crafted in part by one of their own members — James Lankford of Oklahoma, one of the chamber’s most conservative senators.
Trump celebrated the failure of the $118 billion bipartisan border deal and foreign aid package at a rally on Saturday.
“This week we also had another massive victory that every conservative should celebrate: we crushed Crooked Joe Biden’s disastrous open borders bill. Crushed it,” Trump told the crowd in Conway, South Carolina.
The deal would have provided aid to key US allies abroad, including billions of dollars to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia and security assistance for Israel, as well as humanitarian assistance for civilians in Gaza, the West Bank and Ukraine.
Republicans had demanded that border security be part of that bill, but rejected it after pressure from Trump, who is making the US southern border a central campaign issue in his race for the White House.
Democrats have expressed outrage at Republicans for lining up in opposition to the border deal, arguing that they cannot be trusted as negotiating partners and saying that they are bowing to pressure from Trump to keep the border in the political spotlight.
The $95.3 billion foreign aid package the Senate is currently working to pass was advanced on Thursday on a tally of 67 to 32.
The new bill may face obstacles beyond Trump signaling opposition, specifically Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky — who has long opposed foreign aid — using chamber rules to slow its progress.
Without an agreement from all 100 senators to speed up the process and swiftly pass the legislation, the Senate is expected to work through the weekend, with a final vote next week.
“I think we should stay here as long as it takes,” Paul told CNN’s Manu Raju on Thursday. “If it takes a week or a month, I’ll force them to stay here to discuss why they think the border of Ukraine is more important than the US border.”
If the bill is eventually passed by the Senate, it would next go to the House, where it’s unclear when or whether Speaker Mike Johnson would hold a vote on it. Many House Republicans are opposed to further aid to Ukraine.
The new foreign aid package includes billions of dollars to support Ukraine and for security assistance for Israel, as well as humanitarian assistance for civilians in Gaza, the West Bank and Ukraine.
The bill includes $60 billion to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia, $14.1 billion in security assistance for Israel, $9.2 billion in humanitarian assistance and $4.8 billion to support regional partners in the Indo-Pacific region, among other provisions, according to the Senate Appropriations Committee.