On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is anticipated to satisfy with President Biden, Home Speaker Mike Johnson and US senators as Congress continues to stall on approving Biden’s request for $61.4 billion in new support to Ukraine.
Zelensky is an eloquent advocate for his nation of victims, and maybe his presence in Washington will push lawmakers to behave. Nevertheless it should not require a plea from Zelensky to Congress to approve Biden’s proposal for supplemental funding, which additionally contains support to Israel and Taiwan and spending on border safety.
As Biden famous final week, U.S. support has enabled Ukraine to disclaim Russia a victory on the battlefield, a monumental feat given the ability imbalance between the 2 nations. However a Ukrainian counter-offensive has had disappointing outcomes, and Russia just isn’t relenting in its assaults. On Monday, based on Ukrainian officers, Russia attacked the Ukrainian capital Kiev with eight long-range ballistic missiles.
For Ukraine to proceed to defend itself successfully – a prerequisite for any negotiated peace settlement – a brand new infusion of support is important. Shalanda Younger, the director of the Workplace of Administration and Finances, warned Congress in a letter to Johnson that “with out congressional motion, by the tip of the yr we are going to run out of sources to get extra weapons and gear to Ukraine and to ship gear from US navy stockpiles. “
But Republicans are holding support to Ukraine hostage to their calls for for concessions from the Biden administration on immigration coverage. Final week, they blocked a movement to maneuver the supplemental funding invoice ahead within the Senate. “Home and Senate Republicans stay united and have been clear from the start that nationwide safety begins at our personal borders,” Johnson said.
A rougher model of this argument got here from Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas), who complained on social media that “the Washington swamp stays extra involved with stopping the Russian invasion of Ukraine than stopping the invasion of America on the southern border.”
Biden has stated he’s open to “substantial adjustments” in immigration coverage, along with funding for border safety and a rise within the variety of immigration judges. One potential change could be to regulate the authorized commonplace for deciding whether or not migrants searching for asylum have a “credible worry” of persecution of their house nation.
However Republicans are pushing for much more drastic adjustments, together with restrictions on “humanitarian parole,” a course of that enables migrants to bypass the common immigration system for “pressing humanitarian causes” or to attain “vital public profit.”
Sadly, congressional Republicans appear averse to affordable compromise. In a letter to Younger, Johnson reiterated that new support to Ukraine was depending on a “transformative change to our nation’s border safety legal guidelines.” That is a purpose Republicans are free to pursue with out mixing it up with support to Ukraine. The truth is, the Republican-controlled Home has already handed a separate draconian immigration invoice. (Johnson additionally renewed his name for the administration to offer solutions on its Ukraine technique.)
Ideally, Zelensky will succeed, the place Biden has to date failed, in convincing Congress that his nation’s wants — and the paramount significance of deterring Russia from additional aggression — require continued and steadfast American assist.