Republicans Demand Tougher Border Policies as Conditions for Ukraine Aid
After weeks of negotiations, Republicans in the Senate have blocked a supplemental bill that includes aid for Ukraine and Israel. The GOP lawmakers are insisting on stricter border security policies, such as higher asylum standards and immediate screenings for migrants, as part of the package. Democrats, however, disagree and argue that the bill should focus solely on providing aid without any policy changes.
Shift in Support for Ukraine
There seems to be a shift in Republican support for Ukraine’s defense against Russia since the nation was first invaded in February 2022. Some GOP lawmakers have stated that aid for Ukraine should be contingent upon the implementation of tougher border policies. This change in stance has raised concerns about the fate of Ukraine’s defense.
No Deal in Sight
While negotiations are ongoing, Senate aides express doubt that a deal on border security will be reached this week. Even if an agreement is reached, it is expected to be minimal in scope. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office has also indicated that they do not anticipate a deal being reached this week.
Republican Demands and Democratic Criticism
Republicans have been vocal about their demand for a robust border bill. They argue that addressing border security is crucial to tackling the ongoing flow of migrants. However, Democrats accuse Republicans of prioritizing their political agenda over bipartisan compromise. President Biden has signaled his willingness to make compromises on border policies but has not specified which ones he would support.
Ukraine Funding Hinges on Immigration Laws
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Mike Johnson have both indicated that the GOP will approve additional funding for Ukraine if a deal is struck on tighter immigration laws. Ukrainian President Vladomir Zelenskyy is scheduled to make a final plea during a Senate meeting to pass the additional funding.
Senate’s Last Full Day Expected to be Thursday
With the Senate’s last full day expected to be Thursday, it remains uncertain if a resolution will be reached before then. The Senate is not scheduled to reconvene until January 9th.
The failure to pass the supplemental bill comes as President Biden expressed his disappointment that Congress has not yet approved crucial military and economic assistance for Ukraine. The situation remains fluid, and further developments are expected in the coming days.