President Joe Biden unveiled a new aid package for Ukraine on Wednesday, but he saw the hopes for its success fade rather quickly.
Later that day, the Senate didn’t start debate on the president’s national security package, as Republicans bound together to invoke the filibuster. The GOP doesn’t like the fact that the proposal doesn’t include the limits on immigration that they’ve demanded in the past.
They’ve even said that they wouldn’t support the bill without the immigration limits in there, yet the Biden administration didn’t adhere to those warnings.
The vote ended up tallying in at 49-51. In addition to all Republican senators voting against it, independent Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont did as well.
Sanders voted against the bill because he’s been against unconditional aid being given to Israel until the Israeli government changes their practices, which the senator has called “immoral” as well as “in violation of international law.”
Because the vote did not pass, further aid to both Israel and Ukraine is up in the air at best, at a time when Biden is pleading for approval so Ukraine can continue its fight against Russia.
After the vote happened, Biden accused “extreme” Republicans of “playing chicken” with that policy as they demand border policies that are “partisan.” He further said:
“This cannot wait. … We cannot let [Russian President Vladimir] Putin win. … Do we really want a solution? I am willing to make significant compromises on the border.”
Before the Senate took up the vote, the State Department issued a release that said the package “uses the limited resources that remain available to help Ukraine. It would’ve provided as much as $175 million in equipment and arms under drawdowns that have been previously directed.
As the release pointed out:
“Unless Congress acts to pass the president’s national security supplemental funding request, this will be one of the last security assistance packages we can provide to Ukraine.”
Earlier this week, the White House issued a warning that America would have no more money to give to Ukraine unless Congress were to take further action before the end of 2023.
The State Department continued in the release:
“Helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression and secure its future advances our national security interests and contributes to global stability around the world, and we need Congress to act immediately.”
The Senate was negotiating on big issues such as immigration and border security, but those talks hit a snag late last week after irreconcilable differences emerged between Democrats and Republicans.
Leading those talks were Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma and Chris Murphy of Connecticut.
After the vote took place in the Senate Wednesday, Lankford said it wasn’t “the end” to those negotiations.
In fact, Lankford said the comments Biden made about wanting to negotiate were a step in the right direction. He said:
“I see that as a significant sign that he understands, hey, this is a holistic package. We’ve been talking about national security. It’s got to all be there.”