Republican senators blocked a White House request for $106 billion in emergency aid, primarily for Ukraine and Israel. The conservative opposition stemmed from the exclusion of immigration reforms they had insisted upon as part of the aid package.
This vote marked a significant setback for US President Joe Biden. Earlier in the day, he had cautioned Congress that Russian President Vladimir Putin might not cease hostilities with a victory in Ukraine and could potentially target a NATO nation.
The proposed aid package aimed to allocate approximately $60 billion to support Ukraine's efforts against Russia during the harsh winter months. Additionally, around $10 billion was designated for Israel in its conflict with the Hamas terror group, along with some aid allocated for Taiwan.
Israel is actively pursuing a campaign against Hamas, aiming to dismantle its regime in the Gaza Strip. This response follows a shocking assault by thousands of terrorists on southern Israel on October 7, resulting in casualties and hostages. In the Republican-led House, Speaker Mike Johnson insists on "transformative" changes to US border policy before approving further aid to Kyiv.
Louisiana Republican Speaker Mike Johnson insists on offsetting any aid to Israel with spending cuts, a policy opposed by Democrats, the White House, and most Senate Republicans. Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer commits to a later vote on incorporating US border security measures demanded by Republicans to secure the required 60 votes for the aid package's procedural advancement.
However, the entire 49-member Republican minority in the 100-member upper chamber votes against moving forward, citing government inaction on the estimated daily influx of 10,000 migrants crossing from Mexico.
"Republican senators blocked a White House request for $106 billion in emergency aid primarily for Israel and Ukraine. The vote marked a significant defeat for US President Joe Biden, who had warned Congress earlier that Russian President Vladimir Putin might attack a NATO nation. The aid package included roughly $60 billion for Ukraine's pressure on Russia and around $10 billion for Israel in its conflict with Hamas, plus aid for Taiwan. In the Republican-led House, Speaker Mike Johnson insists on 'transformative' changes to US border policy and spending cuts for Israel aid, opposed by Democrats and most Senate Republicans. The 49-strong Republican minority voted against moving forward, citing government inaction on the daily influx of 10,000 migrants from Mexico."
"This cannot wait. It's stunning that Republicans in Congress are willing to give Putin the greatest gift," Biden stated after a video summit with Ukrainian President Zelensky and G7 leaders on shoring up Western aid for Kyiv.
Zelensky canceled his address at the last minute. Centrist Democrat Joe Manchin supports the security package based on Schumer's pledge for later amendments on border security. Senators acknowledge the need for swift action due to limited time in Washington. The White House warns of consequences if additional funding isn't approved soon for Ukraine. Republicans argue for addressing the southern border security threat before sending aid abroad. Agreement on raising asylum system standards reached, but disagreement persists on limitations for humanitarian parole.
Even with potential progress on border security, any agreement may encounter challenges in the House. Hardline conservatives demand forceful border and immigration policies. The State Department announces a stopgap $175 million tranche of new aid for Ukraine, featuring HIMARS rockets, shells, missiles, and ammunition.
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