Support for Ukraine in US Congress under threat due to border disputes

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Support for Ukraine in US Congress under threat due to border disputes
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US Congress, photo by Getty Images

Republicans in the US Congress are threatening to block the allocation of assistance to Ukraine if it does not include a decision on border security.

Source: European Pravda; Politico with reference to sources in Congress

The article indicates that President Joe Biden’s request for US$60 billion for Kyiv now depends on a complex and delicate struggle for border security policy. 

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According to sources, the six main negotiators are in a dispute over raising the standards for asylum in the United States, where Republicans believe this is a necessary condition for assisting Ukraine. At the same time, Democrats have not yet agreed to this. 

A person familiar with the ongoing talks says these discussions on Wednesday were positive. Senators plan to extend them during the Thanksgiving holidays.

However, Senate leaders say there is still a long way to go. In particular, Dick Durbin, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee from Democrats, believes that the Senators’ discussions are at a very preliminary stage. 

The authors of the article point out that this is a sign that assistance to Ukraine and Israel is now under threat more than ever. The next deadline for adopting draft laws comes only in January 2024, which means that additional expenses cannot be linked to the draft law on financing until the end of the year. 

The Republicans told the publication that many Democrats still resist their efforts to reform asylum standards as the only way to unblock assistance to Kyiv. 

The Republicans have told Politico that if the Democrats try to accept assistance to Ukraine without a border agreement, they will fail. At the same time, some lawmakers expressed doubts that an agreement would be reached due to negotiations on the border. 

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden signed a draft law on short-term public funding to avoid a government shutdown, which does not contain funding to support either Ukraine or Israel. 

The spending bill does not include the White House’s request for nearly US$106 billion in assistance to Israel and Ukraine.  

It was reported that the joint package of bills, which includes assistance to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan and strengthening the border, will be considered in the Senate after Thanksgiving, celebrated in the United States on 23 November. 

Republican Congressman Don Bacon said that the House of Representatives, in general, already knows what to do with the bill on assistance to Ukraine and how much money they want to allocate to Kyiv. In his opinion, the proceedings may take place in December.  

The Biden administration calls on Congress to approve the White House’s request for assistance to Ukraine as soon as possible to prevent serious consequences for its defence capability.

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