US Senate Stalemate: Foreign Aid Package for Ukraine in Jeopardy Amidst Immigration Dispute

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The US Senate will not approve a major new foreign aid package this year, incuding around $60 billion for Ukraine, after failing to reach a deal on domestic border security, leading lawmakers have announced.

The GOP has declared that they will not give their stamp of approval to the White House’s proposal to allocate billions of dollars to foreign countries unless the Democratic Party introduces substantial changes to the nation’s immigration policies.

Senate leaders Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell have agreed to delay the holiday recess by a week, aiming to use the extra time to negotiate a deal. In a recent statement, they expressed optimism that an agreeement could be reached in the early stages of the new year.

The administration of President Joe Biden and senators will utilize the rest of the year to diligently work towards a possible agreement, with the intention of reaching a mutually beneficial deal.

Unlike the Senate, the Republican-majority House declined to shorten its recess to allow more time for additional talks. Speaker MIke Johnson has called on the White House to present a clear plan on how pouring more money into Ukraine would help it prevail in the conflict with Russia.

Ukraine is expected to have a severe winter, according to sources in Washington.

Biden has accused Republicans of holding the proposed foreign aid “hostage,” and by extension jeopardizing US national security. The National Security Council’s John Kirby reiterated during a briefing on Tuesday that the White House has “no magic pot of money” to tap into, and that existing aid for Ukraine was about to run out.

During a year-end press conference, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky discussed the matter, stating his conviction that the United States would not abandon Ukraine’s interests.

“We have an agreement, and this agreement with the US will be fully implemented,” he insisted.

At a Defense Ministry meeting on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin alleged that the United States was responsible for instigating the conflict in Ukraine, specifically citing the 2014 armed coup in Kiev as evidence of Washington’s self-serving motives.

“They [the US government] were very worried about Russia getting closer with Europe,” Putin said, adding that Washington successfully created a rift “and now they are putting the financial burden on Europe too.”

Reports from US media outlets indicate that negotiators working on a border agreement have reached a tentative understanding to increase the requirements for asylum seekers in the US and to grant the government greater authority to accelerate deportations. However, there are differing views among the parties regarding which categories of migrants should be detained and which should be released on parole.

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