GOP Senators Throw Tantrum on Ukraine/Israel Aid

Insist on Tying the Deal to Border Crackdown

At least a dozen Republican Senators walked out of a classified briefing 30 minutes after it started on Tuesday, sending the Biden Administration’s $110.5 billion deal to aid Ukraine and Israel war chests on the brink of collapse.

Ukraine President Vlodymyr Zelensky was scheduled to make his case via video to the Senate panel, but canceled at the last minute.

That left the appeal up to Secretary of State Antony Blinken; Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin; Gen. Charles Q. Brown, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and leaders from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Republicans immediately noted there were no officials from the Department of Homeland Security present to discuss migration at the southern border. A shouting match followed.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the fight started when Mitch McConnell asked Oklahoma Senator James Lankford to begin the discussion with a question about the border instead of Ukraine.

“It was immediately hijacked by Leader McConnell. The first question instead of asking our panelists, he called on Lankford to give a five-minute talk about the negotiations on border,” Schumer said. “Then when I brought up the fact that they could do an amendment and have the ability to get something done on border, they got stuck … they didn’t like it.”

Schumer added, “Even one of them was disrespectful and started screaming at one of the generals and challenging him to why they didn’t go to the border.”

A source in the room indicated Tom Cotton was shouting at one of the generals. Cotton denied the claim.

“They want tens of billions of dollars to help our friends and allies overseas, but they’re not willing to do what’s necessary to prevent a potential crisis at the border,” said Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas. “The Biden administration just does not seem to care.”

NYT

Speaker Mike Johnson has told the Senate he cannot pass Ukraine aid without significant border policy changes and said he will repeat that fact until he’s “blue in the face.”

“I just don’t think there’s any question that we are about to abandon Ukraine,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), one of the key negotiators on the border package. “When Vladimir Putin marches into Kyiv and into Europe, Republicans will have to live with the fact that our sons and daughters will be over fighting when Vladimir Putin marches into a NATO country. They will rue the day that they decided to play politics.”

WaPo

“The failure to support Ukraine is just absolutely crazy,” President Biden told reporters. “It’s against U.S. interests.”

“We’re going to get that in,” he vowed.

CNN, WaPo, NYT

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