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US Senate Republicans say no Christmas deal for Ukraine, border

US Senate Republicans anticipate no agreement before Christmas on Ukraine aid and border security reforms, citing ongoing disagreements between White House and Senate negotiators.
Congress of the United States.
The Congress of the United States. Photo: president.gov.ua

US Senate Republicans say there’s no chance of a deal before Christmas on approving the Ukraine aid and enacting new border security reforms, The Hill reports.

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer initially planned a vote on the package this week. However, lead Republican negotiator Sen. James Lankford told reporters on 18 December that an agreement between White House and Senate negotiators is unlikely in the near future due to unresolved issues.

For months, Democratic President Joe Biden has been pushing for the approval of a supplemental aid package, which includes $50 billion in new security funding for Ukraine in its war with Russia and $14 billion for Israel in its conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

How Ukraine aid became a hostage of the US border crisis

According to The Hill, Lankford anticipates that the bipartisan negotiating group won’t unveil a framework this week either. Senate Republican Whip John Thune officially confirmed that a deal would not be reached this week.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who cautioned last week about the difficulty of passing a Ukraine and border security package before Christmas, once again slowed down the negotiations on 18 December, blaming Democrats and the White House for “showing up late” to the negotiating table.

The Pentagon and White House both warned that the funds previously allocated for the Ukraine military aid would be depleted by the end of the month unless Congress authorizes further assistance.

Earlier, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva warned that failure by the US and EU to deliver on tens of billions in pledged Ukraine aid swiftly could undermine the country’s fragile economic progress.

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