The Senate could leave town for the holidays without passing the Biden administration’s $106 billion national supplemental security package, three sources familiar with the talks told Fox News Digital on Monday.
The package, which Biden requested from Congress in October, provides about $60 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel and $14 billion for faster asylum processing and more agents at the border. The Administration urged Congress to pass the supplement by the end of the year.
However, Senate Republicans have been trying for weeks to reach an agreement that would include strict border security policies – such as higher asylum standards and immediate vetting for migrants – in the package. Democrats disagree and have argued that the bill should not include policy changes.
GOP lawmakers in the upper chamber also want aid for Ukraine and Israel to step aside, signaling a shift in support for Ukraine’s defense against Russia since its first invasion of the Eastern European nation in February 2022. Republicans have said aid to Ukraine is contingent on tough border policies.
“We’re nowhere close to getting it passed,” one Senate aide said of the supplement.
US senators to be briefed on Ukraine this week amid heated talks over emergency aid
Another aide said no deal was likely to be reached this week on border security, but that if there was one, “it would be very small.”
Another source close to the talks said the office of Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he did not expect a deal to be reached this week.
“Republicans are demanding a good border bill, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to get one,” the source said.
Last week, before Republicans blocked the supplement bill in the House, Senator James Lankford, R-Okla., — one of the lead negotiators on border talks — told Fox News Digital, “We are not moving forward on the supplement until “Until we have a way to actually be able to solve our border security issues.”
“We don’t have to solve everything on every issue, but we have to solve the border issues to make sure that we stop this uncontrolled flow,” he said.
The vote came 49–51, falling short of the Senate’s 60-vote threshold for passage. The failure to pass came just hours after President Biden said it was “astonishing” that Congress has not yet approved tens of billions in military and economic aid for Ukraine.
Sen. Marshall urges GOP to say ‘no’ to supplemental funding request without tougher border security
Biden has signaled his willingness to make some compromises at the border, but has not specifically stated what policies he would pursue. He accused Republicans of wanting a political issue more than a bipartisan compromise.
“Republicans think they get everything they want without any bipartisan deal,” Biden said. “Now they are prepared to literally bring Ukraine to its knees on the battlefield and harm our national security in the process.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., have both previously indicated the GOP would give more funding to Ukraine if a deal calls for stricter immigration laws.
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On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky will make a final argument to pass additional funding at a Senate meeting at 9 a.m. ET.
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The Senate’s last full day is expected to be Thursday, and they will not return until January 9.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.