Donald Trump criticizes a Senate bill, and a division among the party might endanger the final opportunity to increase funding for KyivUse the sharing options by clicking the share icon on the side or top of each article. FT.com’s terms and conditions and copyright policy are broken when articles are copied for distribution. Republicans in Congress are becoming more and more opposed to a bipartisan agreement supported by President Joe Biden that would provide billions of dollars in US help to Ukraine in exchange for tougher immigration laws. This represents a serious threat to the agreement’s advancement on Capitol Hill.
The $118 billion bill that Democratic and Republican senators reached a consensus on on Sunday may be the last opportunity the Biden administration has to obtain fresh military backing for Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s invasion, in addition to other national security objectives like assistance to Taiwan and Israel.
Additionally, it represents a unique accommodation to limits on immigration along the US border with Mexico, which has been a political liability for Democrats and a rallying cry for Republicans during Biden’s presidency.
However, Donald Trump has denigrated the bipartisan efforts in recent weeks, and on Monday, just a few days before the Senate was set to vote on the agreement, the front-runner for the Republican candidacy this year made another attempt to sabotage the most recent progress.
The previous president posted on social media on Monday, saying, “This Bill is a great gift to the Democrats, and a Death Wish for The Republican Party.” “It absolves Democrats of their HORRIBLE JOB on immigration and the border, placing the entire burden squarely on the shoulders of Republicans.” Be not a stupid person!
The southern border immigration crisis has provided Trump, an isolationist when it comes to global policy, with a chance to criticize Biden as he intensifies his campaign to retake the White House.
The top Republicans in the House of Representatives, who must also approve the legislation before it becomes law, released a statement a few hours after Trump posted, stating that “any consideration of this Senate bill in its current form is a waste of time.”
They went on, “It is DEAD when it gets to the house.”
The Senate will be the bill’s first legislative roadblock; a vote on the measure is scheduled for this coming Wednesday, and 60 of the 100 senators in the chamber must vote in favor of it.
For the bill to proceed, at least 12 of the 49 Republican senators would need to support it, and some Democrats are also anticipated to vote against it because they believe the border measures to be overly harsh.
However, the harsh criticism from several Republican senators seems to be ruining its chances.
On X, Senator Mike Lee of Utah referred to it as “a betrayal of the American people.” Not only did the party leadership support the agreement, but certain Republican senators who were close to them were expressing doubts or outright hostility.
The senator from Texas, John Cornyn, a Republican, expressed his doubts and reservations about the wording after seeing it. Cornyn had previously supported the negotiations. The legislation “would not stop President Biden from continuing his radical mass migration agenda,” according to Alabama senator Katie Britt, a Republican.
At least 19 Republican senators had said by late Monday that they would vote against the plan, which meant it would fail at the first hurdle. This is another indication of the growing influence and number of hardcore isolationists on Capitol Hill as Trump maintains his hold on power within the party.
The bill’s anticipated collapse also represents the most recent setback for political pragmatists and traditional foreign policy hawks in the Republican Party, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who supported the bipartisan agreement. This could now put his leadership career in peril.
In an effort to help the US and its allies “regain the upper hand” over a “emerging axis of authoritarians” in Moscow, Beijing, and Tehran, McConnell made a plea to Republicans on Monday.Use the sharing options by clicking the share icon on the side or top of each article. FT.com’s terms and conditions and copyright policy are broken when articles are copied for distribution. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase more rights. the gloves have come off. And America must take it up,” he declared.
The White House and Democrats are still holding out hope that the agreement can at least get through the Senate.
Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader of the senate majority, stated on Monday afternoon, “The $64,000 question now is whether or not senators can drown out the outside noise, drown out people like Donald Trump who want chaos, and do the right thing for America.”
Biden was questioned about how the bill will pass the upper chamber on Monday while on a trip to Nevada. “With sixty votes, and you will observe,” the president retorted.