An agreement to provide more US aid to Ukraine

An agreement to provide more US aid to Ukraine before the end of the year seems out of reach

A deal to provide more U.S. aid to Ukraine before the end of the year is increasingly out of reach for President Joe Biden. The breakdown has worsened in Congress despite warnings from the White House about the consequences of inaction, as Republicans insist on combining aid with changes to US immigration and border policies.

After the Democratic president said last week that he was ready to “make significant commitments on the border,” Republicans quickly revived the demands they had previously resisted, hardened their positions, and tried to shift negotiations to the right, according to a person familiar with them. The conversations are not authorized to be discussed publicly and speak on the condition of anonymity.

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The latest proposal from the GOP’s chief negotiator, Senator James Lankford, came during a meeting with a core group of senators before they left Washington on Thursday afternoon. It could force the White House to consider ideas that many Democrats would seriously oppose, creating new obstacles in the difficult negotiations.

Biden faces the prospect that a cornerstone of his foreign policy—rejecting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s takeover of Ukraine—will crumble as U.S. support for war funding wanes, especially among Republicans. The White House has said that if more aid is not approved by the end of the year, the consequences will be catastrophic for Ukraine and its ability to fight.

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To preserve American support, the Biden administration has quietly participated in Senate talks on border policy in recent weeks, lending support to a small group of senators trying to reach an agreement and communicate which policy changes are deemed acceptable.

The president is trying to meet GOP demands to reduce the historic number of migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border while allaying fears among Democrats that legal immigration will be curbed by more measures.

Last week, as talks resumed, Democrats warned Republicans that there was little time left to reach a deal. Congress is scheduled to leave Washington in mid-December for recess.

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