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U.S. Senate makes progress in negotiations to unlock aid for Ukraine

U.S. Senate makes progress in negotiations to unlock aid for Ukraine The U.S. Senate is pushing negotiations on border issues to approve financial aid for Ukraine (photo: Getty Images)

Senators from the Republican and Democratic parties are giving positive assessments to the direction of negotiations on combating illegal migration at the U.S.-Mexico border. However, lawmakers have different opinions regarding the timeline for a final agreement, according to The Hill.

Many senators have acknowledged progress in negotiations on the border, but their opinions on the timeline for reaching an agreement are divided.

Senator Joe Manchin stated that a potential border deal could be reached as early as next week.

"And I think our negotiators right now from our Republican and Democrat negotiators, who are really diligent, doing a great job, and then basically with the White House involved, committed to getting this border under control. 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," he said on Sunday, December 17.

Senator Chris Coons also said that he hopes for a potential agreement to be reached next week. In an interview on CBS News' Face the Nation, he noted that he will likely support the legislation. According to him, a breakdown in the negotiations would be a huge gift to Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, and Hamas.

"Well, I need to know the final deals, but I am likely to support this. I have spoken with a number of the negotiators. They have been working hard this weekend. I am hopeful that we can reach a conclusion this coming week," said Coons.

Senator Chris Van Hollen expressed hope that negotiations on border security and the foreign aid package are progressing, as participants in the dialogue remain tight-lipped about when a potential agreement might be reached.

Republican Senator John Cornyn also acknowledged progress in the negotiations but did not specify likely timelines.

"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 (D-N.Y.)] 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," said Cornyn on Fox News Sunday.

Meanwhile, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham suggested that a deal regarding the border might not be reached until 2024. He blamed the White House for choosing bad policy in protecting the southern border.

"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," said Graham.

Next round: The House of Representatives

The Hill reminded that even if an agreement is reached between the Senate and the White House on border issues, the legislation will likely face a tough battle in the House of Representatives. Some Republicans have suggested that they may seek tougher terms in the deal than those proposed by the White House and Senate Democrats.

Republican Tony Gonzales from Texas stated on Face the Nation that lawmakers need to sweeten the deal on borders for an additional aid package to pass through the House of Representatives. He added that the agreement between the Senate and the White House will be significantly different from what the House of Representatives expects.

Challenges with U.S. financial aid for Ukraine

In early October, President Joe Biden requested over $106 billion from Congress for national security needs, including new funding for assistance to Ukraine amounting to over $61 billion.

However, on December 6, the Senate blocked the start of debates on this aid package. The reason for this was the Republicans' demand to include a tougher border protection package along the southern border with Mexico in the bill.

Republicans and Democrats have begun negotiations to reach a compromise on this issue. Against this backdrop, the Senate decided to continue its work before the Christmas holidays.

For more details on why the United States cannot reach an agreement on aid to Ukraine, you can read the article buy RBC-Ukraine.