Republicans set to block vote on Ukraine and Israel aid as they press for stricter border policies – US politics live | Ukraine #Republicans #set #block #vote #Ukraine #Israel #aid #press #stricter #border #policies #politics #live #Ukraine

Republicans set to block vote on Ukraine and Israel aid as they press for stricter border policies

Good morning, US politics blog readers. The increasingly intense debate in Congress over approving more aid to Ukraine will come to something of a head today when the Senate holds a procedural vote the approve aid to both Kyiv and Israel. Republicans have vowed to block it, and have the numbers to do so, saying legislation that would implement stricter border policies must be passed as well. If the vote fails, negotiators will be back to square one, and there’s no telling how they will find their way out of this quagmire.

Approving military assistance to Israel is also a priority for both parties, but opposition to assisting Ukraine’s defense has grown among Republicans over the past months. Party chiefs like Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell continue to support its cause, as does House speaker Mike Johnson, who previously voted against helping Kyiv but appears to have reversed his position since getting the chamber’s top job. However, the immigration proposals Republicans want passed are unpalatable to Democrats, such as restarting construction of Donald Trump’s border wall, or curbing who can apply for asylum. Emotions over these issues are apparently running high among senators – yesterday, several Republicans walked out of a briefing on Ukraine aid, upset that the Biden administration officials in attendance would not discuss border security. Perhaps there will be some progress in resolving this standoff today.

Here’s what else is going on:

  • Joe Biden told donors, “If Trump wasn’t running, I’m not sure I’d be running” – a remark that raised eyebrows, considering the concerns about his age and persistently low approval ratings. But he wasn’t the only presidential candidate to make a questionable remark yesterday …

  • Donald Trump joked about how, if elected, he would not be a dictator “other than on day one”. The former president has proposed a range of anti-democratic policies if returned to office, including directing federal law enforcement agencies to retaliate against former officials who have turned against him.

  • The fourth debate of the Republican presidential primary will take place at 8pm eastern time in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Trump is not attending, but Florida governor Ron DeSantis, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie are.

Key events

The Senate has gaveled in for the day, but it’s not clear yet when majority leader Chuck Schumer will hold a procedural vote on approving aid to Ukraine and Israel without the hardline border policies Republicans have demanded:

The #Senate has convened….. Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of the nomination of Nathalie Rayes to be Ambassador to Croatia; with a cloture vote on the nomination at approximately 12:30 p.m. Further votes are expected.

— Senate Press Gallery (@SenatePress) December 6, 2023

Schumer would need the support of at least nine Republicans for the vote to succeed, and minority leader Mitch McConnell says he is asking his lawmakers to oppose it:

Senate Republicans have been crystal clear: national security starts with border security. The sooner Democrats realize this, the sooner we can deliver on urgent national security priorities.

— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) December 5, 2023

What are the changes the GOP is demanding when it comes to border policy? While there is some variation among lawmakers, Republicans are generally demanding that Democrats sign on to the Secure the Border Act.

From the start of his presidency, the GOP has criticized Joe Biden for what they call his mishandling of undocumented people crossing the southern border. When they took control of the House earlier this year, they quickly passed the Secure the Border Act, also known as HR 2, which would resurrect some of the hardline policies Donald Trump implemented, and create other new ones.

The bill would force the Biden administration to restart construction of the border wall, while also turning away many asylum seekers and restrict which ones could remain in the United States while their applications are processed. The White House said Biden would veto the bill if it somehow managed to get to his desk, and Democrats in the Senate have shown not interest in approving it, even though the GOP has made its passage, or something like it, the price for supporting Ukraine aid.

As for why the legislation is so disliked by Democrats, here’s what the White House said in May, when they issued their veto threat:

The Administration is limited in what it can achieve by an outdated statutory framework and inadequate resources, particularly in this time of unprecedented global movement. HR 2 does nothing to address the root causes of migration, reduces humanitarian protections, and restricts lawful pathways, which are critical alternatives to unlawful entry.

The bill would cut off nearly all access to humanitarian protections in ways that are inconsistent with our Nation’s values and international obligations. In addition, the bill would make processing less efficient by prohibiting the use of the CBP One mobile application to process noncitizens and restricting DHS’s parole authority, such that successful programs, like “Uniting for Ukraine,” would be prohibited. The bill would also reduce authorized funding for essential programs including the Shelter and Services Program that provides a critical source of funds for state and local governments and reduces pressure at the border.

While we welcome Congress’ engagement on meaningful steps to address immigration and the challenges at the border, this bill would make things worse, not better. Because this bill does very little to actually increase border security while doing a great deal to trample on the Nation’s core values and international obligations, it should be rejected.

The standoff between Republicans and Democrats over aid to Ukraine in border security was months in the making. The seeds were sewn in October, when Joe Biden requested Congress pass a more than $100b bill to assist both Kyiv and Israel, but which quickly ran up against the machinations of Congress, where Republicans at the time were without a leader in the House. Here’s the Guardian’s Joan E Greve with the concise version of the long and winding story that got us to this point:

The White House issued an urgent warning to Congress on Monday, predicting that Ukraine will soon lose ground in its war against Russia without another infusion of financial aid from the US.

“I want to be clear: without congressional action, by the end of the year we will run out of resources to procure more weapons and equipment for Ukraine and to provide equipment from US military stocks,” Shalanda Young, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in her letter to congressional leaders.

“There is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment. We are out of money – and nearly out of time.”

In October, the White House asked Congress to approve a $106bn supplemental funding bill that would provide assistance to Ukraine, Israel and allies in the Indo-Pacific while also strengthening border security. However, bipartisan negotiations over that bill have now stalled.

Although previous funding packages for Ukraine have won widespread bipartisan support in Congress, the issue has become increasingly contentious in the Republican-controlled House.

Given hard-right Republicans’ entrenched opposition to additional Ukraine aid, the new Republican House speaker, Mike Johnson, must walk a fine line in his negotiations with the Senate.

Here’s everything you need to know about the path forward for Ukraine aid:

Senate Ukraine briefing flops as Zelenskiy cancels and Republicans walk out

Tuesday was the day when it became crystal clear that neither side was backing down in the tangled negotiations over legislation, first proposed by Joe Biden, to green-light military assistance to Ukraine and Israel as well as spend money on border security.

Republican House speaker Mike Johnson started the day off with a letter to the White House insisting that the administration would have to agree to strict border policy changes – far beyond what Biden supports publicly – if any Ukraine aid legislation was to make it through his chamber. In the afternoon, senators were expected to hear from Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who was going to appear by video conference at a briefing to the chamber. But Zelenskiy canceled for reasons that remain unclear, and as the Associated Press reports, Republicans left the meeting early when the Biden administration officials in attendance refused to discuss border security.

Here’s more on yesterday’s fiasco, from the AP:

Several Republican senators walked out of a classified briefing on Ukraine Tuesday as it descended into a row over the border crisis, after the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, unexpectedly canceled a video-link appearance to appeal for continued US funding.

Zelenskiy had been due to update the senators on the latest developments in the conflict with Russia and press for them to support a procedural vote expected on Wednesday on an emergency aid package that includes more than $60bn for Kyiv.

The cash has been held up for weeks in Congress, as the White House has warned that existing funds will run out by the end of the year and that Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, could win the war if lawmakers fail to act.

Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, announced that Zelenskiy had been prevented from taking part by a “last-minute” hiccup, but he pressed ahead with the briefing anyway – only for the proceedings to turn into a war of words.

Utah’s Mitt Romney left early, confirming that “a number” of his Republican colleagues had followed suit, angry that they had heard nothing on their demand that Ukraine aid be coupled with action on what they call the immigration crisis at the US-Mexico border.

Republicans set to block vote on Ukraine and Israel aid as they press for stricter border policies

Good morning, US politics blog readers. The increasingly intense debate in Congress over approving more aid to Ukraine will come to something of a head today when the Senate holds a procedural vote the approve aid to both Kyiv and Israel. Republicans have vowed to block it, and have the numbers to do so, saying legislation that would implement stricter border policies must be passed as well. If the vote fails, negotiators will be back to square one, and there’s no telling how they will find their way out of this quagmire.

Approving military assistance to Israel is also a priority for both parties, but opposition to assisting Ukraine’s defense has grown among Republicans over the past months. Party chiefs like Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell continue to support its cause, as does House speaker Mike Johnson, who previously voted against helping Kyiv but appears to have reversed his position since getting the chamber’s top job. However, the immigration proposals Republicans want passed are unpalatable to Democrats, such as restarting construction of Donald Trump’s border wall, or curbing who can apply for asylum. Emotions over these issues are apparently running high among senators – yesterday, several Republicans walked out of a briefing on Ukraine aid, upset that the Biden administration officials in attendance would not discuss border security. Perhaps there will be some progress in resolving this standoff today.

Here’s what else is going on:

  • Joe Biden told donors, “If Trump wasn’t running, I’m not sure I’d be running” – a remark that raised eyebrows, considering the concerns about his age and persistently low approval ratings. But he wasn’t the only presidential candidate to make a questionable remark yesterday …

  • Donald Trump joked about how, if elected, he would not be a dictator “other than on day one”. The former president has proposed a range of anti-democratic policies if returned to office, including directing federal law enforcement agencies to retaliate against former officials who have turned against him.

  • The fourth debate of the Republican presidential primary will take place at 8pm eastern time in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Trump is not attending, but Florida governor Ron DeSantis, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie are.


#Republicans #set #block #vote #Ukraine #Israel #aid #press #stricter #border #policies #politics #live #Ukraine

To assist you in gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the topic, we invite you to explore the provided: click here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

en_USEnglish