Republicans in the Senate Suddenly Take Strong Stand on the Border and Illegal Immigration in Exchange for Funding Ukraine

 Days after new Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) again put the Biden administration and the Senate on notice that he would only consider funding for Ukraine if strict border and immigration reforms in H.R 2 were enacted, Republicans in the Senate have suddenly taken a hardline stand on the border and immigration in negotiations with Democrats on funding for Ukraine to defend itself from the ongoing Russian invasion.

Senate Republicans have been negotiating with Democrats for weeks on border and immigration reforms and have reached an impasse. Joe Biden asked Congress in October to pass a $106 billion spending bill with the bulk of the money going to support the war efforts of Ukraine and Israel. The House passed a separate funding bill in early November to support Israel tied to cuts in IRS funding that Biden and the Democrats have rejected.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) posted on X-Twitter Tuesday morning, “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.”


Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) suddenly grew a spine on the border, posting this statement Tuesday morning, “Dems want $106B—GOP wants a closed border. That’s the trade. But clueless Dems want to negotiate the border bill. Not going to happen. Is an open border more important to Dems than Ukraine and Israel?”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) made clear in comments to NBC News reporter Sahil Kapur reporter Monday that Senate Republicans were not negotiating, but demanding, “CORNYN: “There’s a misunderstanding on the part of Sen. Schumer and some of our Democratic friends. This is not a traditional negotiation, where we expect to come up with a bipartisan compromise on the border. This is a price that has to be paid in order to get the supplemental.””

Senate Republicans posted a video Tuesday attacking Democrats over the border:

McConnell gave a floor speech Tuesday on the Republican’s border stance:

Excerpt from McConnell’s speech:

“The Senate has spent months considering supplemental action to meet serious, connected threats to America’s national security.

“As I’ve said from the outset, our work needs to address four urgent challenges: Putin’s war on a sovereign democracy in Europe, the terror campaign against Israel and U.S. forces in the Middle East, China’s aggressive escalation against Taiwan and peaceful nations in the Indo-Pacific, and the Biden Administration’s continuing failure to contend with the crisis at our southern border.

“Senate Republicans’ focus on securing the border didn’t just begin this fall. We’ve watched for three years as the border descended into chaos on President Biden’s watch. And for three years, we’ve urged his Administration to fulfill even its most basic responsibility to enforce our immigration laws.

“Anyone who suggests that Senate Republicans are injecting the issue of border security into this discussion at the last minute either isn’t serious or isn’t paying attention.

“Continuing to pretend that upholding American sovereignty is any less urgent than helping our allies and partners defend theirs is reckless.

“Borders in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona are every bit as inviolable as those in Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific.

“And the sooner our Democratic colleagues realize it, the sooner we can deliver on urgent national security priorities…

McConnell finished his remarks talking about global security threats to the U.S. that need to be addressed alongside border security.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) slammed Republicans for “hostage taking” of Ukraine aid by demanding strict border and immigration reforms.

Speaker Johnson explained his stance on Ukraine funding and border security on Fox & Friends Weekend on Sunday:

The White House responded with a letter Monday by OMB Director Shalanda Young warning that the U.S. was fast running out of money to support Ukraine (excerpt):

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 U.S. military stocks. There is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment. We are out of money—and nearly out of time.

Cutting off the flow of U.S. weapons and equipment will kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield, not only putting at risk the gains Ukraine has made, but increasing the likelihood of Russian military victories. Already, our packages of security assistance have become smaller and the deliveries of aid have become more limited. If our assistance stops, it will cause significant issues for Ukraine. While our allies around the world have stepped up to do more, U.S. support is critical and cannot be replicated by others.

Young’s letter avoided mention of the sticking point of U.S. border security.

Speaker Johnson responded to the White House by letter on Tuesday (excerpt):

Dear Director Young:

I am in receipt of your letter dated December 4, 2023, in which you reiterated the Administration’s request for additional supplemental appropriations.

To the extent that the Administration’s latest request seeks aid for our ally Israel, I am pleased to remind the White House that the House of Representatives has already addressed that need responsibly with H.R. 6126, the Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act. We passed that bill with a bipartisan vote more than a month ago, on November 2, 2023. H.R. 6126 includes the vital security assistance requested for Israel and is fully offset. Senate Democrats, however, have refused to consider the measure. In fact, when given the chance to debate H.R. 6126, all 51 Senate Democrats voted to block consideration of the bill.

With respect to the Administration’s request for additional Ukraine funding, the position of Congressional Republicans has been clearly articulated since October 26, 2023. On that date, I met in the Situation Room with you, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and other key leaders to present two essential prerequisites: security at our border, and critical answers regarding the funds requested.

First, I explained that supplemental Ukraine funding is dependent upon enactment of transformative change to our nation’s border security laws. The House of Representatives has led in defining reforms to secure America’s borders and passed H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023, more than six months ago. Senate Democrats have refused to act on that bill.

Second, I explained that Congress and the American people must be provided with answers to our repeated questions concerning: the Administration’s strategy to prevail in Ukraine; clearly defined and obtainable objectives; transparency and accountability for U.S. taxpayer dollars invested there; and what specific resources are required to achieve victory and a sustainable peace.

Even with the sudden tough stand by Senate Republicans, there is still a lot of distance between them and Speaker Johnson, reported Punchbowl News reporter Andrew Desiderio, “After Speaker Johnson told Hill leaders he can’t pair Ukraine aid with anything less than H.R. 2, Senate Republicans are now taking shots at Johnson. “That’s not rational,” said Sen. Lankford, top R negotiator. “That’s not how things work.” Tillis: “He’ll get what we send him””

One of the main sticking points in H.R. 2 for Democrats is a clause giving the president the power to suspend asylum to regain control of the border:

The Biden administration has used asylum to admit millions of otherwise inadmissible illegal aliens in a ruse to flood the U.S. with migrants who will likely never be deported after their asylum claims are eventually rejected years later.

Republicans in the Senate Suddenly Take Strong Stand on the Border and Illegal Immigration in Exchange for Funding Ukraine Republicans in the Senate Suddenly Take Strong Stand on the Border and Illegal Immigration in Exchange for Funding Ukraine Reviewed by Your Destination on December 06, 2023 Rating: 5

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