Meanwhile, Democratic leaders are in a bind, conceding they must give Republicans a vote over Title 42 if the GOP lives up to its promise to block any combination of aid to Ukraine and Covid funding.
“Looking at them together makes sense. And I would really regret that my Republican colleagues would try to burden them with petty and irrelevant immigration issues,” Sen said. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said. “There is bipartisan support for both. If they want to play political games with Ukraine or Covid, that’s a really unfortunate decision.”
In the near term, many Democrats appear poised to challenge Republicans to vote against legislation that would include much-needed military aid to Ukraine. Asked about GOP threats to torpedo a Ukraine-Covid law without changes to immigration rules, Senate Foreign Relations Chair Bob Menendez (DN.J.) quipped, “Republicans can vote against Ukraine.”
The White House, which is expected to table its aid proposal for Ukraine as early as Thursday, considers both packages a top priority but is facing increasing pressure, both privately and publicly, from Democrats over the administration’s plan to title 42nd Biden Delete, uncomfortable Administration officials have tried to placate the shaky Democrats, but there is genuine fear in the party that an amendment to keep migration restrictions in place will win enough votes from the president’s side to pass.
And while some Republicans have indicated they would support legislation that includes new money for Ukraine, funding for Covid vaccines and therapeutics, and a provision to retain Title 42, the fate of that plan in the House of Representatives is uncertain. There, the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Hispanic Caucus are signaling that members would oppose a package that includes GOP language to enshrine border boundaries.
Democrats’ decision on how to set their various priorities must take into account the increasingly tricky math in the lower chamber. Together, these two groups represent more than 100 House Democrats. While it’s still unclear how many progressive and Hispanic caucus members would be willing to block an immigration bill if it actually got its say, it could seriously complicate party leaders’ plans to merge Ukraine and pandemic relief .
House Democrat leaders have privately conceded to members that more Covid aid would likely need to be attached to another must-pass bill to get it through the Senate, although there has been no concrete push to combine them. The House of Representatives will not consider either issue until at least May 10, when lawmakers return after a week-long hiatus for Ramadan.
Amid this uncertainty, Pentagon officials are warning that Biden has nearly depleted a key cash stash that supplies arms to Ukraine. As part of its new aid bid, the White House is expected to seek even more power to quickly transfer these weapons and equipment from US stockpiles, known as the Drawdown Authority, to Ukraine after holding billions in stocks since the Russian invasion dollars delivered.
Lawmakers have earmarked $3 billion in deduction powers to ship arms to Ukraine as part of a funding deal struck with the government in March. Pentagon Chief Budget Officer Mike McCord warned lawmakers Wednesday that the fund could run out as early as this week.
https://www.politico.com/news/2022/04/28/white-houses-ukraine-aid-bid-00028430?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication The White House’s offer of aid to Ukraine is heading straight for the Hill morass