Top Senate Republican to block vote on further Ukraine aid
Mitch McConnell (Photo: EPA/Tom Brenner)

US Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will oppose Republican senators voting on aid to Ukraine and Israel unless an agreement is reached to protect the United States' borders, The New York Times quotes him as saying.

"I hope all of our members vote no," McConnell said, adding that by doing so, Republicans hope to make "to make the point, hopefully for the final time, that we insist on meaningful changes to the border" with Mexico.

Yesterday, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, wrote a letter to the White House in which he said that he does not support further aid to Ukraine unless there are changes in the border security laws.

In his opinion, the administration of American President Joe Biden "has ignored reality, choosing instead to engage in political posturing rather than engaging with congressional Republicans to discuss logical reforms."

Late on Tuesday, Democratic senators presented a package of national security funding worth about $111 billion to provide aid to Ukraine and Israel, as well as measures aimed at protecting the southern border.

The bill is expected to go to the first procedural vote today, but Republicans are pushing for stronger border protection measures than it provides.

On October 20, 2023, US President Biden called on Congress not to stop the supply of weapons to Ukraine. The White House has sent a request to Congress to allocate $106 billion in emergency funding to help Ukraine, Israel and strengthen US border security. In particular, $61.4 billion of them are intended for Ukraine.

On Monday, White House Budget Director Shalanda Yang said that Ukraine's aid money would run out by the end of 2023 if the US Congress does not pass a new package.

On December 5, the leader of the majority of the Democratic Party in the US Senate, Chuck Schumer, announced the first procedural vote on the new aid package for Ukraine.