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GOP’s Strategic Shift on Ukraine and Border Bill

The GOP is currently facing a legislative crossroads as their efforts to pass a bill linking Ukraine aid with border security reforms encounter significant hurdles in the House.

This development has prompted Republican supporters of Ukraine aid to contemplate alternative strategies, amidst growing recognition that the combined legislative package may not be viable.

GOP’s Legislative Challenge

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GOP supporters of Ukraine aid are exploring alternative plans as the Senate legislation combining Ukraine aid with border security reforms faces strong opposition in the House.

This shift in strategy highlights the party’s attempt to adapt to the legislative realities.

Conservative Opposition Impact

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The strong conservative opposition to the bill has led to speculation among Republican senators about the feasibility of passing the combined package.

This opposition is a key factor in the GOP’s reconsideration of their legislative approach.

Leadership’s Stance on Package

Credit: Senator Schumer’s Remarks After Democrats Keep Control Of Senate. November 13, 2022, New York, USA: Senate Majority Leader, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to press after democrats keep control of senate on November 13, 2022 — Photo by thenews2.com

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell have expressed their commitment to bringing the linked package to the Senate floor.

However, there is growing acknowledgment that the bill’s prospects of reaching President Biden’s desk are slim.

McConnell’s Delinking Suggestion

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McConnell suggested the possibility of delinking Ukraine money from border security reforms.

This idea stems from the recognition of the challenges in passing a border security package during a Republican presidential primary.

Trump’s Influence on GOP Dynamics

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Former President Trump’s opposition to the Senate’s border bill is heavily influencing the House GOP, particularly Speaker Mike Johnson.

Trump’s stance is seen as a significant hurdle to the bill’s progress.

McConnell’s Search for Alternatives

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McConnell appears to be looking for an “off-ramp” to separate Ukraine funding from the border security legislation.

This indicates a strategic pivot in response to the challenges facing the combined bill.

Potential Inclusion in Spending Package

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There is speculation that McConnell may try to include military aid for Ukraine in a regular spending package.

This approach could bypass the challenges associated with the linked bill.

Urgent Deadline for Funding

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Congress must pass two funding packages by March 1 and March 8 to avoid partial government shutdowns.

This deadline adds urgency to the decision-making process for Ukraine funding.

Thune Acknowledges Critical Moment

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Senate Republican Whip John Thune has acknowledged that the bill is at a “critical moment.”

He hinted that leaders may need to switch to “Plan B” if the combined package fails to progress.

Impact of Trump’s Primary Victories

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Trump’s victories in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary have significantly impacted the politics surrounding the border talks on Capitol Hill.

These victories are influencing the GOP’s legislative strategies.

Scalise’s Chief Delivers Blunt Message

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House Majority Leader Steve Scalise’s chief of staff conveyed a clear message to Senate Republican offices: the Senate deal to fund Ukraine and secure the border won’t get a vote in the House.

This declaration has sent a strong signal to Senate Republicans.

Senate Conservatives’ Pressure on McConnell

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Senate conservatives are pressuring McConnell not to bring the combined bill to the floor.

They argue that it would put Speaker Johnson in a difficult position and is designed for political posturing.

Cruz’s Criticism of Senate Deal

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Senator Ted Cruz criticized the Senate border deal as a political maneuver by Democrats, designed to fail and provide political cover.

He sees it as a strategy to keep the border issue alive for campaign purposes.

Romney and Cornyn’s Views

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Senator Mitt Romney criticized Trump’s efforts to derail the bill, while Senator John Cornyn suggested that border security would remain a potent issue regardless of the bill’s passage.

These differing views reflect the internal debate within the GOP.

Tuberville Echoes House Sentiment

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Senator Tommy Tuberville echoed the sentiment that the bill is unlikely to pass in the House.

This acknowledgment points to the growing realization within the GOP of the need for a different legislative approach.

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