Senate Advances Ukraine Aid Bill
Yesterday evening, the Senate voted to advance an aid package for Ukraine, virtually ensuring that the legislation will win final passage as well. The body voted 78-17 in favor of a motion to proceed, allowing the Senate to formally consider the bill. Twenty-six Republicans joined their Democratic colleagues to vote in favor of the motion to proceed. No Democrat voted against it.
A number of Republicans oppose the Senate bill as it is currently written because it contains provisions reforming the International Monetary Foundation (IMF), which they say are irrelevant to the Ukrainian aid. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is planning on offering an amendment to remove those provisions. Although such an amendment would not likely pass, the opportunity to offer that or others would likely make the process for approving the underlying bill go more quickly. Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, for instance, said he would support speeding up passage if he were allowed the opportunity to offer an amendment to the bill.
The House is currently working on a bill similar to the Senate’s but it does not contain any IMF provisions, so it remains to be seen what the final legislation will look like. According to The Hill, the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, offered that he had “no idea” what the outcome of the House-Senate disagreement would be. Aside from the IMF provisions, the Senate bill offers $100 million to ensure the stability of democracy in the country along with its national security. It also provides $1 billion in loan guarantees. The bill levies a number of sanctions against Russians and Ukrainians who have been responsible for unrest in Ukraine.
How Is the Tea Party Evolving?
The Tea Party movement has been one of the most important groups of actors in American politics for nearly a half a decade, but a number of people allege that its power is waning. Tea Partiers, however, do not view their movement as dying off. Instead, it is evolving, they say. As the Los Angeles Times reports: “We’ve definitely matured and have gone into what many of us call ‘“tea party 2.0,”’ said Amy Kremer, chairwoman of Tea Party Express, one of the largest national groups to spring out of the movement.” The Tea Party faithful are not focusing on major rallies as much as they are working at both the state and Federal levels to advance policies and candidates they support. In addition to changing tactics, one of their major strengths is active support from their followers. According to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll from early March, 76 percent of Tea Party-affiliated voters are very engaged by the upcoming midterms, whereas only 36 percent of traditional Republicans are.
Will Millenial Generation Favor a Republicans, Democrats–Or Neither?
Aside from the Tea Party movement, another important voting bloc in the United Sates is Millenials, the generation born between 1981 and 2000. This group appears to pose something of a difficulty for both Republicans and Democrats because they seem to eschew brand loyalty and are willing to support people, institutions, and companies that offer them a better deal or their preferred products. This tendency can be alarming for Democrats, since although they supported President Obama, they can be wooed away by Republicans. “Looking at the future of U.S. politics through the prism of Millennials’ attitudes today, you’d much prefer the Democratic Party’s problems over the GOP’s. But the safest best is against both parties – at least as they’re currently aligned against modernity”, National Journal editorial director Ron Fournier writes.
And for our latest post: More Nuclear-Option Fallout: Senate Blocks Presidential Appointment