Republicans Link Ukraine Aid With US Border Security

Republicans in Congress have increasingly linked sending aid to Ukraine with sending money to the U.S. southern border. Now, as many Republicans state they will not approve any additional funds to Ukraine until the border is dealt with successfully, the debate over when — and if — Ukraine will receive aid has become even more tense.

Though U.S. President Joe Biden has already requested nearly $106 billion in a package for both Ukraine and Israel, this request has gone unanswered by Congress. Instead, Republicans want to make border security their first priority as the southern border continues to deal with humanitarian and security crises.

However, many critics state that this move of linking Ukraine’s aid to domestic border security has hurt the U.S.’s ability to conduct wartime foreign policy in an effective manner.

Many thought that Ukraine and Israel aid would be passed earlier in the year when Biden first requested the funds. However, current House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) didn’t include any aid to Ukraine or Israel, or notably to the southern border, in his recent proposals to keep the government fully funded.

Though Johnson avoided a government shutdown, now he, and the rest of Congress, has to work on this now-divisive subject.

After the Thanksgiving holiday break, it appears that Congress will focus on sending aid to Ukraine and Israel, as well as sending humanitarian aid to Gaza. However, if many Republicans continue to refuse to send aid until the border is secure — as many of them have threatened — critics state that America’s global standing during critical times could be undermined.

According to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, the “best way” to get Republicans on board with supporting Ukraine aid is for border policy changes to be made. Republicans have made many statements about what kind of changes they want to see.

Some state that the construction of the border wall should be resumed. Others say that asylum laws should be changed to make it harder for migrants to come to the U.S.

Democrats have refused to consider many of these policies.

However, a group of senators, both Republican and Democrat, have begun to meet in private. They’ve attempted to work out a border policy solution that both parties could agree to, all so that Ukraine aid can soon be passed.

Because of the halt in aid and funds to Ukraine, the Pentagon can only send about $5 billion worth of equipment to Ukraine. However, the Pentagon also only has about $1 billion to replenish these stockpiles.