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Tags: senate | republicans | ukraine | border | immigration | aid

After Heated Meeting, Senate Republicans to Nix Ukraine Aid

By    |   Wednesday, 06 December 2023 10:53 AM EST

Senate Republican leaders are calling on their conference members to torpedo a bill that would provide more than $61 billion in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine because immigration and border reforms are not included in the package.

After tempers flared at a classified briefing on the Ukraine war and senators got into a shouting match over border security, getting a measure passed this week seems unlikely.

According to The Hill, Senate Republicans will move to block Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s 11th-hour proposal to bring President Joe Biden’s emergency foreign aid request to the floor with a bipartisan bill to disrupt the fentanyl supply chain and an assurance that Republicans can propose the bill’s first amendment.

Insisting that major border reforms be included in the package, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called on GOP colleagues to vote against Schumer’s motion to proceed.

“I’m advocating and I hope all of our members vote 'No' on the motion to proceed to the shell [bill] to make the point, hopefully for the final time, that we insist on meaningful changes to the border,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday afternoon.

Border security negotiations broke down in the Senate on Friday when Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., put forth a proposal that largely resembled H.R. 2, or the House-passed Secure the Border Act, Schumer told The Hill.

Complicating the already fraught situation in the Senate, Schumer said House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., told him last week he couldn’t get Ukraine funding through the lower chamber unless it was linked to immigration reforms passed by House Republicans, which were not supported by any Democrats.

“On Thursday, Speaker Johnson called me up and said he could only do Ukraine as long as H.R. 2 was attached to it,” Schumer said, according to The Hill. “I told him that’s a non-starter. Second, on Friday evening, the negotiations between Sens. [Kyrsten] Sinema [I-Ariz.], [Chris] Murphy [D-Conn.], and Lankford took a terrible turn. Basically, Sen. Lankford put on the table proposals that pretty much mirrored H.R. 2.”

“If they believe border [security] should be part of Ukraine [aid], which is so vital to our country, let them propose an amendment that can get 60 votes,” he said. “And that’s why I hope they will vote on the motion to proceed because I’m giving them this new opportunity to put any amendment they want on the floor. If they can’t meet that offer, then what’s going on? Then what we should be doing is just voting on Ukraine alone.”

Tensions exploded Tuesday afternoon when McConnell asked for Lankford to be recognized during a classified briefing of senators to discuss Republican demands on the border, The Hill reported.

Schumer said the meeting was taken over by McConnell.

“It was immediately hijacked by leader McConnell,” he told The Hill. “The first question — instead of asking our panelists — he called on Lankford to give a five-minute talk about the negotiations on the border, and that wasn’t the purpose of the meeting at all. And then when I brought up the idea that they could do an amendment and have the ability to get something done on border, [Republican colleagues] got stuck.

“They didn’t like it and even one of them started — was disrespectful — and started screaming at one of the generals and challenging him why he didn’t go to the border,” Schumer said.

Senate sources told The Hill that Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., were the “hottest” when it came to voicing frustration with the officials at the briefing for the situation at the southern border.

Cramer told reporters afterwards that Schumer went “nuts” over his questions on the importance of border security and said the amendment he would allow Republicans to propose for the foreign aid package “won’t pass because every Democrat will vote against it 'cause they don’t give a damn about our southern border.”

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Senate Republican leaders are calling on their conference members to torpedo a bill that would provide more than $61 billion in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine because immigration and border reforms are not included in the package. After tempers flared at a...
senate, republicans, ukraine, border, immigration, aid
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2023-53-06
Wednesday, 06 December 2023 10:53 AM
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