America Last: 12 Senate Republicans Vote to Send Ukraine Another $60B After Vowing to Put U.S. Border First

Published February 9, 2024

This week, 17 Senate Republicans joined Democrats to approve sending Ukraine another $60 billion. Twelve of those Republicans previously suggested they would not help send Ukraine any more American taxpayer money until the United States’s border was secure from illegal immigration.

On Thursday, Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Cornyn (R-TX), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), John Thune (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Todd Young (R-IN) joined every Senate Democrat excluding Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to send billions more in taxpayer dollars to Ukraine.

The money, if approved by the House, will fund weapons and military training, among other things, for Ukraine in its war with Russia.

Twelve of those Republicans who voted for the Ukraine funding, coupled with $14.1 billion for Israel in its war with Hamas, previously suggested to the media that they would not support more funding for Ukraine until America’s own southern border was secure.”So in order for our national security interests to be served, we must have a four-prong approach here. Israel, the border, Ukraine, and Taiwan,” Capito said in December 2023, for example, while Cassidy said, “We got to support our allies, but we got to secure our own border first and the Biden administration has not done so” the same month.

Similarly, in December 2023, Ernst said ,”The issue is not Ukraine, and it’s not President Zelensky. It’s our own national security at our southern border” and Collins called reforms at the southern border an “absolutely essential part” of any funding package that includes more money for Ukraine.

In December 2023, Cornyn, Grassley, Kennedy, Romney, Sullivan, Thune, and Wicker all gave statements to the media suggesting the southern border was a priority for them ahead of Ukraine:

“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. The Biden administration just does not seem to care,” Cornyn said.

“If there isn’t something reached in regard to our own border and we seem to have concern about the border of Israel and Gaza, Russia and Ukraine, we have to have the same consideration about our own border,” Grassley said.

“Now, the president sent us a national security bill and we said, OK, we’re going to do national security, but we’re not going to pass your bill until you close the border. And the president said, surely you’re not serious. And the Republicans in the Senate said, don’t call me Shirley and we are serious. We’re as serious as four heart attacks and a stroke,” Kennedy said.

“So, we want to solve that to secure the border. I just saw the President of the United States say that we’ve got to secure the border. He’s right. So, any effort that doesn’t do that will be rejected by Republicans,” Romney said.

“Republicans are not bluffing: There will be no agreement on further Ukraine aid without serious measures to secure America’s own border. Our border is priority number one,” Sullivan said.

“A lot of us Republicans are very eager to get Ukraine the aid it needs. But we cannot – we cannot – tend to our national security interests abroad while ignoring the national security crisis on our own doorstep,” Thune said.

“We needed to demonstrate that Republicans are not going to pass a supplemental appropriation bill unless it takes care of very important restrictions on the southern border,” Wicker said.

Young said last month about the southern border, “I don’t believe we should take this off the table… let’s get something consequential done for the American people” while in negotiations with other Senators.



RELATED: Senate advances Ukraine funding without border security reforms

Published February 9, 2024

The Senate voted Thursday to advance a $95 billion emergency security spending bill with $60 billion to support the war in Ukraine — but without a bipartisan border security bill that ran into stiff opposition from Republicans.

The move by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to swiftly bring the security spending package back to the floor without the controversial border security reforms gives new political momentum to U.S. aid for Ukraine.

The Senate voted 67-32 to advance a legislative vehicle that Schumer says will be used to carry funding for Ukraine, Israel, Indo-Pacific security and humanitarian assistance for civilians around the world.

Seventeen Republican senators voted to advance the legislation, including Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Senate GOP Whip John Thune (S.D.).

Other Republicans who voted yes were Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (La.), Susan Collins (Maine), John Cornyn (Texas), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), John Kennedy (La.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Mitt Romney (Utah), Mike Rounds (S.D.), Dan Sullivan (Alaska), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Roger Wicker (Miss.) and Todd Young (Ind.).

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt. ) voted against it.

Senators a day earlier had voted to block the exact same measure when it was also supposed to include the bipartisan border security reforms.

The second vote on advancing money for Ukraine and Israel was delayed for a day as a group of Republican senators tried to haggle for a promise from Schumer that they would be allowed to amend the package with their own ideas for securing the southern border.

McConnell on Tuesday suggested splitting off money for Ukraine, Israel and other national security priorities from the bipartisan border security deal, after former President Trump opposed it and members of the GOP conference revolted against the border-related proposals.

“There are other parts of this supplemental that are extremely important as well: Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan. We still in my view ought to tackle the rest of it because it’s important, not that the border isn’t important, but we can’t get an outcome. So that’s where I think we ought to head,” he said.




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Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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