US Senate blocks Ukraine, Israel aid in row over immigration

Republican senators blocked a White House request for $106 billion in emergency aid, primarily for Ukraine and Israel, on Wednesday as conservatives balked at the exclusion of immigration reforms they had demanded as part of the package.

The vote marked a significant defeat for US President Joe Biden, who had warned Congress earlier in the day that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not stop with victory in Ukraine and could even attack a NATO nation.

The package would include roughly $60 billion to help Ukraine keep up pressure on Russia during the frigid winter months and around $10 billion for Israel in its conflict with Hamas militants, plus some aid for Taiwan.

Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate leader, had committed to holding a vote later on adding the border security measures demanded by Republicans in a bid to secure the 60 votes needed to get it over its first procedural hurdle.

But the 49-strong Republican minority in the 100-member upper chamber voted en masse against moving forward, pointing to a lack of government action on the estimated 10,000 migrants crossing from Mexico daily.

"Everyone has been very, very clear on this to say we're standing firm. Now is the moment," Senator James Lankford, a lead Republican negotiator on immigration and border issues, told Fox Business ahead of the vote.

"We're completely out of control at the southern border, and it's time to resolve this."

Biden has led the global coalition backing Kyiv, but support has been waning among Republicans in Congress, and the administration has warned that it will run out of money for more Ukraine aid in weeks unless lawmakers act.

The president has been under pressure from progressives to reject sweeping conservative...

Continue reading on: