Holiday Break Approaches As Senate Remains Stalled on Ukraine, Israel and Border

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Wednesday evening, Senate Republicans blocked the national security supplemental funding bill from moving forward. The bill reflected the request of President Biden in October, when he asked Congress to approve, in total, more than $100 billion in aid for Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and others. 

The current stalemate is due to disagreement about the border. Republicans want to see major changes at the southwest border included in the national security bill. They’re seeking asylum limits, and even some Trump-era border policies, before they agree to send more aid to Ukraine. 

Democrats say Republicans are not being reasonable with their border demands. It remains unclear if the Senate will approve the aid before the holiday break. 

Earlier this week, the White House told Congress, “we’re are out of money for Ukraine and nearly out of time.” 

The debate on Capitol Hill comes as thousands of migrant encounters have been reported on the southern border this week. 

Thursday afternoon, Senate Republicans said the current border situation is a national security crisis and refused to budge until there are serious changes. 

“They are going to have to grant significant concessions on the border to pass the president’s supplemental aid package. Certainly, the House of Representatives will demand that. And until they accept that reality, the legislation will not pass,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R- AR). 

Democrats in both chambers continue to criticize Republicans for stalling vital aid and resources to democracies under attack. 

“It would be irresponsible legislatively for my Republican colleagues to decide that they’re going to go home to celebrate the holidays when our allies continue to be involved in existential fights that relate directly to America’s national security,” said House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D- NY) Thursday morning. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D- NY) also took to social media, saying: “We offered a golden opportunity for a border amendment vote of their choosing if it can get 60 votes—they rejected it Republicans need to get serious and stand up for democracy.”