Partisan conflict in GOP puts Ukraine aid at risk

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By Carina

As the Senate nears an agreement on Ukraine aid, the House, led by Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), is increasingly resistant. 

Johnson insists on tying aid to stricter border migration policies, a stance rejected by House Democrats. This deadlock is complicating negotiations, with neither side willing to compromise. 

Partisan tensions rise over Ukraine aid and border policies in U.S. Congress

Democrats accuse Republicans of neglecting an international ally, while Republicans criticize Democrats for lax border policies. 

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The likelihood of congressional support for Ukraine ahead of the presidential election is diminishing, especially with former President Trump’s opposition to any Ukraine border deal from the Senate.

Johnson’s stance is influenced by his frequent discussions with Trump, who has publicly opposed the Senate’s Ukraine border agreement. 

House Republicans, led by Johnson, want their border security bill, H.R. 2, included in the Ukraine aid package. 

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Controversy over border wall proposal in U.S. Ukraine aid bill

This bill proposes new border wall construction and reinstating Trump’s “remain in Mexico” policy, which are non-starters for Democrats. 

Representative Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) commented, “He wants to add H.R. 2 to the bill, and that’s not what an emergency supplemental is about.” 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s global lobbying efforts have not yielded results in the EU or the U.S. 

The House Republican Conference showed a notable shift in support for Ukraine aid, with a test vote on $300 million aid last September failing the “Hastert rule.” 

Political standoff over Ukraine aid linked to U.S. border policy

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has threatened to challenge Johnson’s leadership if he approves a Ukraine package without strict border measures. 

She said, “I just told him it’s an absolute no-go.” Democrats are frustrated by the House Republicans’ reluctance, accusing them of avoiding a border crisis solution to prevent a Biden victory on a vital issue.

Milwaukee Wisconsin Usa August 23Rd 2023 United States Representative Marjorie — Stock Photo, Image
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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) believes Senate negotiators are close to a resolution but criticizes hard-right opposition to any deal as “naked partisanship.” 

Schumer said, “These hard-right saboteurs talk on and on about the need to fix the border, but now they don’t actually want to see a bipartisan solution on the border.”

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Debate over Biden’s linking of Ukraine aid and U.S. border security in Congress

Some Democrats criticize President Biden’s strategy of linking Ukraine aid with domestic border security. Representative Juan Vargas (D-Calif.) said, “I think the president made a mistake in combining them.” 

However, others like Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) argue that the border component was included because “Republicans would not let Ukraine funding go ahead on its own.”

The resolution of this standoff largely rests with Speaker Johnson. Representative Gregory Meeks (N.Y.) stated, “If he can move, we can get something done, and I think the overwhelming majority of the members of the House will vote for it. But if he holds himself hostage — or allows himself to be a hostage to the MAGAs — then we have a problem.” 

The outcome remains uncertain, with both sides holding firm to their positions.

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