Donald Trump Puts Pressure on Republicans to Take Down Ukraine Aid Deal

By Ingy Ashraf,

According to AFP, It’s 9 months till the US presidential election runs, but Donald Trump is already wielding unprecedented power as he attempts to bend US foreign policy to his goals of returning to the White House.

Since leaving authority in 2021, the Republican has remained a private citizen but he is running for reelection and urging his party to oppose a package that would tie the harshest border security measures in a decade to $60 billion in Ukraine aid.

“Don’t be STUPID!!! We need a separate Border and Immigration Bill. It should not be tied to foreign aid in any way, shape, or form!” Trump, who is likely set to face Joe Biden again in November, wrote on social media.

Biden and Trump have significantly different attitudes about Ukraine, with the Democrat emphasizing the importance of assisting the pro Western ally repel Russia in order to secure a safer world, whilst his predecessor advocates for an isolationist, “America First” policy.

In the United States, Biden has advocated for a humane immigration policy, but Republicans point to figures showing migrant apprehensions reaching a record high of 302,000 in December, a rise that Trump has used as a key campaign issue.

Republicans originally demanded that military aid for Ukraine be linked to immigration reform, with Trump eager to associate the border situation with international catastrophe, which he repeatedly asserts he could have avoided.

Senators unveiled a bipartisan $118 billion immigration limitation measure on Sunday, which Biden has pledged to sign into law. It is linked to a foreign aid package totaling $60 billion for Ukraine and $14 billion for Israel.

The agreement sends $20 billion in new border money and would be a significant victory for immigration hawks, as it contains concessions that Democrats would ordinarily oppose.

Biden stated, “We don’t have enough agents. We don’t have enough folks. We don’t have enough judges. You don’t have enough folks here. We need help. Why won’t they give me the help?”

However, Trump has an iron grip on the Republicans who control the House of Representatives, and he has repeatedly called on the party to defeat the legislation, denying Biden and his Democrats a political success ahead of the November election.

Trump said, “This Bill is a great gift to the Democrats, and a Death Wish for The Republican Party”

Several House Republicans in Biden won districts have expressed worries about walking away from the accord, especially as the party intends to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas this week over the border situation.

However, Trump’s flooding victory in the early nominating contests of the Republican presidential primary have reinforced support for his campaign, with more than 150 members of Congress officially endorsing him.

The bill’s first procedural vote, scheduled for Wednesday, will require the approval of 60 senators in a 100-member chamber split almost evenly between the two parties.

if it passes that obstacle, House Speaker Mike Johnson, who speaks with Trump on a regular basis, has predicted the plan will be “dead on arrival” if it reaches the Republican-controlled lower house.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken cautioned last week that without US approval of the $60 billion, Ukraine’s gains from two years of warfare were in jeopardy.

Although Trump has centered his criticism on the bill’s domestic features, critics see his resistance as yet another example of the controversial billionaire prioritizing his election ambitions before national security in Ukraine.

Trump was indicted in 2019 for attempting to coerce Kyiv into disparaging Biden, while the Republican withheld $400 million in essential military aid already approved by Congress for the vulnerable ally.

The influential Eurasia Group think tank stated, “call into question the US commitment to NATO and likely spell the end of US support for Ukraine.”

“Both would send shockwaves through Europe’s fragile security landscape and trigger existential fears among Europeans,” it stated, “especially on NATO’s eastern flank.”

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