Republican senators refused to consider a big Ukraine-Israel-border funding bill unless it included language changing U.S. law to make it harder for migrants to access asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. A group of senators negotiated for two and a half months, coming up with a set of measures three days ago that outraged both migrants’ rights defenders who feared people would be harmed, and far-right Republicans who wanted it to go further.

The bill with the compromise language just failed on the Senate floor, by a vote of 49-50. (It was a procedural vote that needed 60 votes to allow debate to begin.)

Republicans demanded that the border-migration language be included, but in the end only four voted for it (Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, and the Republicans’ chief negotiator, James Lankford of Oklahoma). Even Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), who had vocally backed Lankford’s negotiating effort, voted “no.”

Five Democrats voted “no.” (Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) had to change his vote to “no” for procedural reasons allowing a reconsideration of the bill.) They were Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Alex Padilla of California, and Bernie Sanders (I) of Vermont, who opposed the unconditional Israel aid in the bill.

I hope that the senators move soon to approve aid to Ukraine, this time without weakening the right to asylum.

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