The US Senate wants to present a new draft for Ukraine aid by Sunday

The US Senate wants to present a new draft for an aid package for Ukraine and better security of the US borders by the end of this week. The text should be published between Friday and Sunday, said Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday. He expects a first vote on the draft by Wednesday next week “at the latest.”

However, the bill – even if it passes the Senate – is likely to fail in the House of Representatives. There, the opposition Republicans, among whom there are many opponents of new aid to Ukraine and resistance to a border compromise with the Democrats, make up the majority.

“Confronting these challenges is not easy,” Schumer said Thursday. “But we cannot simply shirk responsibility just because a task is difficult.”

President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party has been wrestling with Republicans in Congress for weeks over an aid package for Ukraine worth $61 billion (around 56 billion euros). In return for their approval, Republicans are demanding tougher measures to secure the US border with Mexico. The conservatives can block further funding for Ukraine as well as border protection legislation with their majority in the House of Representatives.

Biden and his Democrats have been very accommodating to the Republicans in negotiations about securing the border with Mexico. The conservatives are still likely to block the border protection and Ukraine package in the House of Representatives. House Republican leader Mike Johnson has said a potential Senate deal would be “dead on arrival” in his congressional chamber.

The background is apparently that former President Donald Trump openly spoke out against such an agreement. Observers suspect that the right-wing populist, who wants to win back the White House in the presidential election in November, rejects any agreement between Democrats and Republicans on the politically contentious issue of migration because Biden could see that as a success for himself.

Trump himself recently told supporters that it would not bother him if he was blamed for the failure of a border agreement. Without an agreement on the border dispute, it appears highly questionable whether Congress will approve new aid to Ukraine. This would be a serious setback for Ukraine, whose main military supporter is the USA.

The EU agreed on Thursday on new economic aid for Ukraine worth 50 billion euros after weeks of blockade by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) then said that the EU decision could make it easier for Biden to wrestle with Congress for new aid to Ukraine.