White House says it doesn’t regret including Ukraine aid in package with border funding

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National security spokesman John Kirby said Thursday that the White House doesn’t regret including Ukraine aid in the package with funding for border security, a day after Senate Republicans blocked the supplemental funding bill.

Kirby said “no” when asked if there is any second guessing inside the White House about the decision to lump together the requests in the $111 billion package requested by President Biden.

“All four buckets of the supplemental … were of an urgent nature,” Kirby added. “Ukraine, Israel … there was also money for Indo-Pacific strategy … and then the border. Some $6 billion in there for additional resources for the border. If you listen to Republicans talk about the border and the urgency that they think needs to be conveyed, OK, well, it was in our national security urgent request.”

When asked about plans to get the supplemental funding back on track, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said they’ve been “very clear about the supplemental” and its importance.

Jean-Pierre added that it’s “stunning that we have gotten to this point” and that Republicans are willing to give Russian President Vladimir Putin a gift by not giving Ukraine more funding for its war effort.

“History will remember them harshly,” she said. “The path forward is that they need to get this done.”

Senate Republicans blocked a bill Wednesday that would have provided aid to Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific over the lack of border provisions in it. They have insisted for weeks that they would withhold their votes on the package if the bill did not have a satisfactory border remedy attached.

The 51-49 vote failed to reach the 60-vote threshold that would allow the proposal to come up for consideration after all Republicans voted against the measure, as did Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) flipped his vote to “no” so he could bring the bill up again in the future.

Bipartisan border discussions in the Senate recently stalled after Democrats walked away from the table, arguing Republicans were asking for too much.

Biden said Wednesday that he’s willing to make “significant compromises” on border policy, seeking a breakthrough on funding for Ukraine. He said he’s asked Congress for billions of dollars in funding for additional border agents, more immigration judges and more asylum officers, but he did not detail what changes he would support in border policy.

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