Senate agreement on the border and Ukraine is in danger of collapsing now that Trump is implementing stricter measures

(J Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

Senate agreement on the border and Ukraine is in danger of collapsing now that Trump is implementing stricter measures

Immigration and the border, Ukraine


January 25, 2024

A bipartisan Senate deal to combine border enforcement measures with aid to Ukraine may have collapsed Thursday as Senate Republicans grew increasingly wary of an election-year compromise that Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, appears likely to oppose to resist.

Senate negotiators have been seeking for weeks to reach a carefully negotiated compromise on border and immigration policies aimed at reducing the number of migrants coming to the U.S. border with Mexico. But with negotiations dragging on for weeks, election-year politics and Trump’s demands are putting pressure on the situation.

There’s a plan at stake


President Biden and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell

of Kentucky

They have worked for months to mediate in hopes of persuading Congress to approve war aid to Ukraine. The US has run out of money to supply Ukraine, potentially leaving the country stranded without robust stockpiles of ammunition and missiles to fend off the Russian invasion.

In a Republican meeting behind closed doors


On Wednesday, McConnell acknowledged the reality of Trump’s opposition, that he is the party’s likely presidential nominee, and discussed other options, including a possible separation of Ukraine and the border.

as problems

said two people


who spoke anonymously to discuss the private meeting. Punchbowl News first reported the comments.

McConnell’s comments raised new doubts in the Senate about his level of commitment to the border deal, though proponents of progress argued the leaders’ comments were misinterpreted.

We’re still working on it, McConnell told reporters


Thursday morning.

He also assured the conference Thursday at a Republican lunch that he still personally supports linking the border with Ukraine, Sen. Mike Rounds said.

(RS.D.), a Republican from South Dakota.

Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, the GOP’s chief negotiator, said the group is still working on the package. He said McConnell was advocating for the proposal while simply recognizing the political reality that the presidential primary season is in full swing.

“I think that’s the shift that’s happened that he just acknowledges,” Lankford said. That’s just a reality.

Lankford has been working with a small bipartisan group and White House officials to try

and to

conclude the border agreement. But the release of the legislation is being held up by negotiating over the price of the new policy and ongoing disagreements over limiting the president’s ability to allow people into the country under special circumstances, such as those fleeing war and unrest .

We’re really focused on making sure that we get the bill out and that we get it through the Senate, said Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona independent who has been at the center of the talks.

White House spokesperson Olivia Dalton told reporters aboard Air Force One on Thursday that the Biden administration has been working with negotiators in good faith, believes progress has been made and hopes it will continue.

We are at a critical moment and we must drive fast to get this done,” said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate. “If we can’t get there, go to plan B.”

But congressional leaders have found no other way to boost war funding for Ukraine

by the darkening political prospects of the case

. A large number of Republicans in the House of Representatives are unwilling to send more money to the fight, even though party stalwarts like McConnell have tried to convince them that preventing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advance in Europe is directly in their interest of America.

We know that if Putin gains the upper hand in Ukraine, the consequences for Western democracy and for the American people will be severe and will haunt us for years to come, the Senate majority leader said.

Chuck Charles E.


of New York

. Democrats are also resolute in reaching an agreement on securing the southern border.

Trump has played a prominent role in the talks, first undermining U.S. support for Ukraine and now potentially undermining a political compromise on the border that would give his likely opponent, Biden, new policies intended to stem historic numbers of migrants find a way into the country, to contain it. The Republicans are constantly increasing


The issue at the heart of the campaign is that the border is likely to remain at the center of this year’s election.

While many in Congress are eagerly awaiting the bill text, Trump has already said on social media that there should be no bipartisan border deal unless we get EVERYTHING needed to stop the INVASION of millions and millions of people.

The lead Democratic negotiator, Senator Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut, said he is still hopeful that Republicans will agree to accept the compromise, even though Democrats did not want to tie Ukraine aid and border security in the first place .

Many Republicans have grown accustomed to this being just a political issue and not an actual policy problem, Murphy said. And it’s hard for them to get over that. But there is a large group of Republicans in the Senate who want to solve the problem.

In an effort to fend off Trump’s objections, Republican senators have argued that the policies under discussion would have no immediate effect on problems at the border and would even give Trump more border enforcement powers if he is re-elected.

The issue will still be relevant and I think it would be one of the defining issues in the campaign, said Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas. So we have to do our job here.

But this week, a vocal contingent of Republicans raised objections, including heated exchanges at a closed-door Republican lunch.


Tuesday, according to several senators in the meeting. They have argued that presidents already have enough authority to implement tough border measures and that Trump should have his say.

If we expect him to be able to secure the border, he should be able to see this bill, and he should be able to commit and say, is this going to help me secure the border or not,” Senator Rick Scott, a Florida Republican, said at a press conference on Wednesday. What we know is that he doesn’t need it.

Sen. J.D. Vance, an Ohio Republican who is a Trump ally, said he spoke with the former president about the deal last week and expressed concern that it would be too weak.

If it fails, which it will, it gives the president the opportunity to blame MAGA Republicans for the failure of a border security package when in reality it failed.


“A very weak border security package that actually did nothing,” Vance said.

But some Republicans worried that walking away from an opportunity to pass border policies could backfire.

If we were given the opportunity, and we decided not to do it for political reasons, I think we could be in serious trouble, Rounds said. Many of our candidates could get into serious trouble at home.”

Associated Press writers Kevin Freking and Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Hot Topics

Related Articles