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Stalemate in U.S. Senate: Funding Bill for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan Stalls Over Border Funding Dispute

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito pleaded with her colleagues to take into account a set of border security measures that congressional Republicans want included in an additional national security budget for assistance to Israel, Ukraine, and Indo-China. -- Image via WV Senate

The U.S. Senate rejected a plan that would have provided much-needed cash for Israel’s struggle against Hamas, Taiwan’s defense spending, and the war effort in Ukraine. Senate on Wednesday regarding the discussion of adding money to the southern border of the United States.

The cloture vote, which required 60 votes for the national security supplemental bill to be approved and allowed the entire Senate to study the bill and discuss modifications, was blocked by Senate Republicans.

The national security supplemental’s language was made public on Tuesday by Patty Murray, the Democratic chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The $110.5 billion package includes backing for Taiwan and other Indo-Pacific nations worried about Chinese encroachment, security assistance for Israel following a terrorist attack by the terrorist group Hamas in October, and aid to Ukraine in its ongoing fight against a Russian invasion.

The bill provides financing for the manufacture of weapons and ammunition domestically to replenish depleted stockpiles, as well as humanitarian aid for refugees from Ukraine and Palestine who have been displaced by the Israel/Hamas conflict in Gaza.

Funding for the detection and prosecution of fentanyl trafficking, which frequently originates in China and travels via Mexico to the United States, is also included in the supplemental. Additionally, resources for the southern border of the United States with Mexico are needed. These include cutting down on processing and backlogs of adjudications, helping Central and South American nations stop the flow of people trying to enter the country illegally, and offering more humane methods of handling border encounters.

Senate Republicans, meanwhile, want the national security supplemental to contain stricter border security measures, including giving the executive branch more power to reject asylum requests at the southern border.

Republicans in the U.S. The House of Representatives wants some parts of H.R. The Southern Border Transparency Act, included in Section 2, called for the restart of border wall construction, an increase in border agent personnel, increased use of technology to detect illegal crossings, and the elimination of catch-and-release practices.

In floor remarks on Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., led a group of Republican senators advocating for more robust border security measures in the national security supplemental. The GOP border ideas, according to Capito, a Republican member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and vice chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, are significant and nonpartisan.

Without protecting our own borders, we cannot attain national security as a whole, according to Capito. “Border security must continue to be one of our four pillars and a component of any national security supplemental that this Congress approves.”

Capito went on, “The text that’s in front of us just keeps throwing money at a broken system without changing any policies.” That doesn’t work as a fix. The real policies that are causing this problem are not addressed.

President Joe Biden urged Congress to approve the national security supplemental before adjourning for the holidays in his address on Wednesday afternoon. He claimed that by depriving Ukraine of necessary funding for armaments, Republicans are giving Russian President Vladimir Putin a chance to escalate his war against that country.

“I find it amazing that we even made it this far,” Biden remarked. “The Republicans in Congress are prepared to give Putin the best present he could ask for and to renounce our leadership in the world community, not just in Ukraine but also in other areas.”

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., stated on Wednesday that if the Republican minority voted in favor of cloture, he would be open to considering their changes to the national security supplemental. However, Republicans have to be prepared to give in to some of the policies they like.

“I have assured my Republican colleagues that, should they consent to proceed, I will grant them a vote on an amendment pertaining to a border package that fully represents their preferences, without any limitations,” Schumer stated. “Why hold up Ukraine aid if Republicans can’t even present a border package that can pass the Senate? This is a golden opportunity for them to present whatever border policy they want, and our side will not interfere with the construction of that amendment in any way.” We are posing this query to ourselves.

Amer. Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, stated that while he was in favor of cloture, he was not willing to postpone the national security supplemental.

Manchin stated, “It should be obvious that in addition to assisting Israel and the Ukraine in securing their borders, we also need to secure our own.” “We do not have to choose between defending our allies and defending our homes in the greatest country on Earth. I will always stand with Israel and the Ukraine, but my loyalty to my own nation comes first.

“To reduce the quantity of unauthorized crossings at our southern border and restore operational control, we require significant structural changes,” Manchin went on. “I am supporting moving forward with this bill because Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has assured me that we can make changes to the National Security Supplement that will strengthen border security.”

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