With a week left until Congress recesses for the holidays, Republicans and Democrats remain at odds over border security efforts and additional aid to Ukraine.
Leading negotiators Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) sided with the other side in a showdown on Sunday morning's show. .
“Republican demands are unreasonable at this point,” Murphy said on NBC's “Meet the Press.”
“If I were a cynic, I would say that Republicans decided to link aid to Ukraine to immigration reform because they want aid to Ukraine to fail.”
Murphy stressed that he is “not a cynic” and said Democrats are “trying to resolve some pretty significant differences that still remain.”
Since taking the gavel, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) has been adamant that Congress bundle support for Ukraine with border security.
With this in mind, the White House has rolled out a massive $106 billion supplemental request that includes aid to Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, border security, and more.
But Republicans slammed the border provisions as woefully inadequate.
Murphy and Lankford have both been negotiating on border rules for about a month, but the gap remains.
“This started with the Biden administration saying we need to do a national security policy that includes Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and the border,” Lankford said Sunday on CBS' “Face the Nation.” ” he said.
“All we're trying to do is say what tools we need to get this back under control to avoid chaos at our southern border.”
Encounters with migrants at the border have skyrocketed under President Biden's watch.
A record 3.2 million encounters were reported during fiscal year 2023, including 309,000 in October alone. According to data from the US Border Patrol.
Almost all Republicans, including moderates like Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) It appears that they are trying to coordinate border security and aid to Ukraine.
Even some Democrats like Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pennsylvania) said the argument Regarding borders, it's a “rational conversation.”
Lankford praised the Border Security Act of 2023, which passed the Republican-led House of Representatives without Democratic support earlier this year, as a model.
“Obviously, it's not like we're going to get 20, 30 Democrats in the Senate or a Democratic White House and sign it. But that doesn't mean we're going to just sit around and do nothing. No,” he said.
At the root of this problem is the fact that large numbers of migrants are flooding across borders and seeking asylum.
Murphy vowed that Democrats would oppose legislation that would close the border to people “legally” seeking asylum.
He was open to “strengthening some of the rules so that we don't have 10,000 people arriving in a day.”
Additionally, Democrats are wary of ceding too much ground to Republicans, fearing it will weaken their influence in future negotiations for a durable solution to so-called Dreamers and undocumented immigrants. It seems there is.
last week, Politico reported that the Republican Party: They are touting expulsion powers similar to pandemic-era Title 42, which allowed border officials to immediately turn away refugees, even asylum seekers, at the border.
“No, it's actually not accurate,” Lankford said of the report. “There are some things that I have suggested and some things that I haven't suggested yet.”
He didn't go into much detail about what was right and what was wrong.
Murphy said the White House is likely to step up its involvement in those discussions this week.
The Senate is scheduled to adjourn for vacation this weekend, further raising the stakes in negotiations.
White House and military officials have warned that funding for Ukraine is running low.
Biden last week chided Republicans for their resistance to funding, calling it a Christmas “gift” to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I'm not a fan of President Vladimir Putin, and the president knows it very well. This is not a Christmas present for him,” Lankford said. “If you're going to deal with national security, you've got to deal with Ukraine, you've got to deal with the border.”