Senate blocks border deal and funding for Ukraine, Israel | U.S. Politics Latest

by 24USATVFeb. 8, 2024, midnight 20
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(ASSOCIATED PRESS) Senators on Sunday released a highly anticipated $118 billion package that pairs border enforcement policy with wartime aid for Ukraine, Israel and other U.S. allies, but it quickly ran into a wall of opposition from top House Republicans, including Speaker Mike Johnson. The proposal could be the best chance for President Joe Biden to resupply Ukraine with wartime aid — a major foreign policy goal that is shared with both the Senate’s top Democrat, Sen. Chuck Schumer, and top Republican, Sen. Mitch McConnell. The Senate was expected this week to hold a key test vote on the legislation, but within hours of the text being released Johnson said on social media that it would be “dead on arrival” if it reaches the House. With Congress stalled on approving $60 billion in Ukraine aid, the U.S. has halted shipments of ammunition and missiles to Kyiv, leaving Ukrainian soldiers outgunned as they try to beat back Russia’s invasion. Senators have been working for months on the carefully negotiated compromise intended to overcome opposition from conservatives who have tired of funding Ukraine’s fight. But the coming days will be a crucial test of whether congressional leaders can once again muscle their members to support a package designed to assert American strength — and commitment — around the world. They will also be weighing whether to continue pressing on one of the most fraught issues in American politics — border and immigration legislation. Biden said in a statement that the Senate proposal “allows the United States to continue our vital work, together with partners all around the world, to stand up for Ukraine’s freedom and support its ability to defend itself against Russia’s aggression.” And on the border, Biden said that the immigration system has been broken for too long, and it’s time to fix it. “It will make our country safer, make our border more secure, treat people fairly and humanely while preserving legal immigration, consistent with our values as a nation,” the Democratic president said. The proposal would overhaul the asylum system with faster and tougher enforcement, as well as give presidents new powers to immediately expel migrants if authorities become overwhelmed with the number of people applying for asylum. The new bill would also invest in U.S. defense manufacturing, send $14 billion in military aid to Israel, steer nearly $5 billion to allies in the Asia-Pacific, and provide humanitarian assistance to civilians caught in conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza. In a call with reporters after releasing the legislation, Schumer said he has never worked so closely with McConnell. He called the bill a “monumental step” toward strengthening national security at home and abroad. READ MORE: https://www.13wmaz.com/article/news/nation-world/border-security-ukraine-aid-package-proposal-unveiled/507-fe99204e-0482-4213-aeac-034cac08d75f

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