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Congress speaks of positive shifts in talks unblocking aid to Ukraine

Monday, 18 December 2023, 03:08
Congress speaks of positive shifts in talks unblocking aid to Ukraine

Republicans and Democrats in the US Congress have reported positive progress in border security negotiations, a precondition for approving aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, yet the timeline for a final agreement is still uncertain.

Source: The Hill

Quote from The Hill: "Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle said Sunday they were "encouraged" with the direction the border security talks were going but that the timing of the potential deal remained uncertain."


Details: Senate negotiators have been struggling for weeks to arrive at an agreement on border security measures that could unlock additional aid for Ukraine and Israel as part of a supplemental funding package.

Senators and the White House expressed optimism last week about a settlement. However, although many lawmakers said progress was being made in the border negotiations, their views differed on the timing of the agreement.

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said on Sunday (17 December) that "Republican and Democrat negotiators... who are really diligent, doing a great job" and that a potential border deal might be reached as early as this week.


Quote from Manchin: "That’s what I’m really very hopeful for, and I think we’re gonna see something next week, and we’ll stay there until we get it done."

Details: Democratic Senator Chris Coons noted that he hoped a potential deal would be reached this week, adding that a lack of agreement "would be a huge gift to [Russian President] Vladimir Putin and [Chinese President] Xi Jinping and Hamas".

Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen and Republican Senator John Cornyn also indicated that the talks were progressing.

Quote from Cornyn: "Well, I talked to a couple of key negotiators yesterday and they feel like they’re making some progress, but I know [Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer] thinks there’s going to be some deal cut behind closed doors and then jam it through the Senate and then jam the House. That’s not going to happen."

Details: At the same time, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham suggested that a border agreement would not be reached this year.

"We’re not anywhere close to a deal, it’ll go into next year. The policy choices of the Biden administration [have] made the border a dangerous place to come to."

The Hill stressed that even if the Senate and the White House reach an agreement regarding the border, the decision is likely to encounter some challenges in the House of Representatives, as some Republicans have made it clear that they may want stronger border provisions than those proposed by the Democratic-led White House and Senate.


  • Earlier, US President Joe Biden once again urged US Congress members not to make a gift to Putin and to prevent further postponement of the decision on additional funding to help Ukraine.
  • Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell, Senate Republican Leader, noted that Congress is unlikely to approve an additional funding package for Ukraine before Christmas, even if the two parties conclude a deal in the coming days stipulating this.
  • The main sticking point between Republicans and Democrats is the issue of migration on the US southern border.

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