Antelope Valley Press

Border security, Ukraine help deal collapses


WASHINGTON — A Senate deal on border enforcemen­t measures and Ukraine aid suffered a swift and total collapse Tuesday as Republican­s withdrew support despite President Joe Biden urging Congress to “show some spine” and stand up to Donald Trump.

Just minutes after the Democratic president’s remarks at the White House, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell emerged from a GOP luncheon at the Capitol and acknowledg­ed that the deal was dead.

“It looks to me and to most of our members that we have no real chance here to make a law,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters.

The split-screen moments in Washington represente­d a rapid turn of events that showed McConnell’s slipping control of his GOP conference, Trump’s growing influence, and Biden’s ability only to look on as a cornerston­e of his foreign policy — halting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advance into Europe — crumbled in Congress.

Out of funds, the Pentagon is sending no more arms shipments to Kyiv just as the war — entering its third year — reaches a critical juncture. Ukraine is struggling with ammunition and personnel shortages while Russia is on the offensive, mounting relentless attacks.

“Every week, every month that passes without new aid to Ukraine means fewer artillery shells, fewer air defense systems, fewer tools for Ukraine to defend itself against this Russian onslaught,” Biden said. “Just what Putin wants.”

Biden had engaged for months with Senate leaders on a carefully negotiated plan to pair policies intended to curb illegal crossings at the US-Mexico border with $60 billion in wartime aid for Ukraine. The bill was intended to exhibit American strength around the world and would have also sent tens of billions of dollars more for Israel, other US allies in Asia, the US immigratio­n system and humanitari­an aid for civilians in Gaza and Ukraine.

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