In a letter to colleagues in the U.S. House, Speaker Mike Johnson stated that the current Senate legislation on U.S. border policy and aid to Ukraine would have been “dead on arrival” in the House if reports about its terms are true.
“I wanted to provide a brief update regarding the supplemental and the border since the Senate appears unable to reach any agreement," Johnson writes. "If rumors about the contents of the draft proposal are true, it would have been dead on arrival in the House anyway."
A bipartisan group of negotiators was expected to unveil a deal in the Senate this week that would include provisions on immigration policy and funding for Kyiv. Although the deal has not yet reached the U.S. House, Speaker Johnson cites reports of its current provisions to suggest that its provisions on border security would be unacceptable.
The funding request of over $110 billion, including around $61 billion for Ukraine, has been stuck in Congress since autumn 2023. Senate Republicans blocked the approval of the $61 billion in aid last month, largely over concerns the bill did not contain border security measures.
As a way to expedite the passage of aid for Ukraine, intensified border security measures were integrated into the aid deal. House Republicans, including Speaker Johnson, state that newly developed provisions are insufficient.
Johnson's other comments on Ukraine indicated that his concerns about the ability for new aid to be passed were not limited to border issues. Republicans have a very slim majority in the House, and some members have said they are categorically opposed to further aid for Ukraine, regardless of compromises on the border and immigration.
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