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US lawmakers go on recess without passing Ukraine aid

President Joe Biden said failure to back Kiev at such a “critical time” would “never be forgotten”

The US House of Representatives was unable to pass legislation that would devote some $95 billion in additional aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan before heading to winter recess. Lawmakers failed to compromise on a deal after Republicans demanded the package include new funds to protect the border with Mexico.

Following months of negotiations, the two major parties were simply unable to reach agreement on the massive foreign aid bill on Thursday as lawmakers head off for winter break. The legislation would include some $60 billion for Kiev, more than $14 billion for Israel and around $8 billion to US partners in the Indo-Pacific. Yet more funds will be allocated to a number of other projects, including supporting US military action around the globe, bringing its total price tag in excess of $95 billion.

Though Republicans had demanded the bill include new funding for security at the southern US border if they were ever to agree to the new Ukraine aid, negotiations on the Senate version of the legislation ultimately fell through, with several GOP members dropping their support following criticisms by President Donald Trump.

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Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. President Donald Trump gestures to supporters after speaking at a Get Out The Vote rally at the North Charleston Convention Center on February 14, 2024 in North Charleston, South Carolina
Trump pitches Ukraine aid loan

House GOP members have refused to pass any stand-alone legislation dealing with the foreign aid only, insisting the bill must address an unprecedented surge in illegal immigration.

House Speaker Mike Johnson later insisted his fellow party members would not accept an aid bill that did not also contain stiffer border protections.

“The Republican-led house will not be jammed or forced into passing a foreign aid bill that was opposed by most Republican senators and does nothing to secure our own border,” Johnson said.

President Biden, who has clamored time and again for the new aid to Ukraine and Israel, voiced outrage after the bill failed to come to a vote, warning that those who obstructed the measure would “never be forgotten.”

READ MORE: Giving Kiev more money ‘insane’ and ‘cruel’ – Tucker Carlson

However, when the lawmakers return from recess on February 28, they will face a higher priority challenge than sending billions in US taxpayer dollars to Kiev, as they will have just a few days to negotiate a deal to avert yet another US government shutdown.

February 16, 2024 at 10:23AM

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