Senate Republicans are ready to reject funds for President Biden’s plan to restock Ukraine’s military coffers and provide help to Israel unless Democrats agree to strict steps to restrict migration at the U.S. border with Mexico.
On Tuesday afternoon, a secret meeting with administration officials to rally support turned into a political yelling war. Republicans furiously accused Democrats of attempting to bully them into giving in to their demands for a crackdown on immigration.
The implosion occurred just before the Senate was about to have a crucial test vote on an emergency funding package with a budget of $110.5 billion, thereby destroying any hope of a swift bipartisan compromise. At a pivotal juncture in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia under President Vladimir V. Putin, a decision to withhold assistance would highlight waning American determination.
Senate Republicans who walked out of the session expressed their utter displeasure that administration officials would not address their concerns over border security, which they said was an essential component of any strategy to provide emergency relief to American friends. Republican support for aiding Ukraine has been dwindling, and even among Republicans, there is little appetite for a plan to do so unless it also limits immigration. On Tuesday night, Mr. Biden referred to letting assistance expire as “simply wrong.”.
The president recently warned that U.S. funding to provide weapons to Ukraine would soon run out, and this vote is scheduled just days after his warning. Ukraine needs more ammunition and other weaponry immediately to reverse the battlefield’s trend.
According to some Pentagon officials, the remaining $4.8 billion in aid authorization should cover Ukraine’s military aid needs through the winter, despite the White House’s assertions to the contrary. Ukrainian authorities are confident they cannot go beyond a standstill until more funding is provided.