". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


White House at Odds with Senate Republicans over Funding for Ukraine, Border Security

December 14, 2023

Senate Republicans are pushing the Biden administration to put America first and secure the southern border before giving Ukraine further financial aid. On Tuesday, the White House signaled potential support for Republican border security legislation in exchange for a more than $110 billion emergency aid package, mostly benefiting Ukraine. This comes as illegal immigration into the U.S. rivals record highs.

Speaking to Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on Wednesday night’s episode of “Washington Watch,” Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said, “I think most Americans are sympathetic with the plight of the Ukrainian people, they’re opposed to the evil war criminal Putin.” He added, “What takes precedent, though, is securing that border.”

Johnson explained that funding for Ukraine — a White House priority — has to be tied to border security legislation, expressing concerns that the Biden administration may not uphold its end of an agreement on the subject. “We have a lawless administration, we have a president that is not faithfully executing the laws,” he said. “If you want a couple examples — when the Supreme Court ruled that the eviction moratorium was unconstitutional, President Biden extended it anyway. When they ruled that forgiving student loans was unconstitutional, he’s still forgiving them,” he continued. “So we can’t rely on this president to actually follow the law, execute it, or quite honestly, follow through on any agreement he signs.”

The senator insisted that “any funding must be contingent on benchmarks” that Biden actually achieves, particularly concerning the southern border. He stated, “And that’s got to be our bottom line, because the open border, promoted by Joe Biden and his Democrat allies is a clear and present danger to America. It has to be our top national security, homeland security priority.”

In an apparent effort to pressure Senate Republicans into approving billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine, Biden invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the White House this week. But Johnson warned that another concern Republicans have regarding the aid package is a lack of accountability on how Zelensky is spending American taxpayers’ money. “We’re certainly not being told the truth,” Johnson argued. “We saw a Time Magazine article saying that somebody in Zelensky’s inner circle said that they’re stealing like there’s no tomorrow. We heard reports, somebody else saying that they really have enough war material to last them till the spring. So what is the truth here?”

“We’re not being given the truth — certainly not by this administration, not by this president who has lied through his teeth on a host of issues when he talks to the American public. So that’s part of the problem: we’re just not getting the truth,” Johnson explained. He added, “But we’re also not recognizing reality. Ukraine, unfortunately, cannot win this war, mainly because Putin cannot afford to lose it and he won’t lose it.” The senator noted that continued funding for Ukraine without a serious push for peace talks would simply prolong the deadly conflict, not end it.

He said, “I do believe that we need to bring this war to an end as quickly as possible. We need to get rid of the fantasy that Ukraine can win. … Ukraine can’t do it. … So this war will only end with a settlement.” Johnson went on, “Every day that goes by, more Ukrainians die, more Russian conscripts die. I take no joy in that. More of Ukraine gets destroyed. So every day that goes by with this war going on, the settlement becomes worse and worse. So we have to recognize that reality.”

As the Wisconsin senator concluded, “Let’s not engage in fantasies. And whatever funding we do give Ukraine should be used to try and maneuver Putin and get him to realize that this is a lose-lose-lose proposition for everybody, and come to a negotiated settlement and stop the killing. Stop the destruction.”

Congress is scheduled to leave Washington, D.C. Thursday evening for Christmas break, increasing pressure on the White House and Senate Democrats to reach a conclusion regarding U.S. border security.

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.