Trump calls on Republicans in US Congress to reject Ukraine package

Former US President Donald Trump has called on members of his Republican Party to vote in Congress against the latest draft for a Ukraine aid package combined with better US border security. “Don’t be stupid,” Trump appealed to his party colleagues on his online platform Truth Social on Monday. “We need a separate border and immigration law,” Trump wrote. This should under no circumstances be “linked in any way to foreign aid”.

On Sunday, the US Senate presented a bill negotiated by Democrats and Republicans for further aid to Ukraine. At the same time, the compromise includes a billion-dollar package to better secure US borders and provides for significant changes to immigration policy. Among other things, the US President should be authorized to reject asylum seekers in the future if more than 5,000 irregular border crossings are detected per week.

The so-called National Security Amendment includes a total of $118.3 billion (109.8 billion euros), including $60 billion in support for Ukraine, $14.1 billion in support for Israel, $10 billion in humanitarian aid and $20.2 billion for border security.

Trump, who is the clear favorite in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, described the law on Monday as “a great gift for the Democrats and a death wish for the Republican Party.” He had already repeatedly called on Republicans in the House of Representatives to block the law.

Observers suspect that the 77-year-old rejects any agreement between Democrats and Republicans on the politically controversial issue because US President Joe Biden could see this as a success for himself. An agreement could help the incumbent in the election campaign.

A first vote on the agreement is expected in the Senate by Wednesday at the latest. It is still unclear whether the bill will receive the necessary majority of 60 of the 100 senators. Even if it passes the Senate, the draft is likely to fail in the House of Representatives at the latest given the statements made by Republican Majority Leader Mike Johnson. On Monday he declared on the online service X, formerly Twitter, that the draft would be “dead on arrival” if it reached the House of Representatives.

President Biden’s Democratic Party has been wrestling with Republicans in Congress for weeks over an aid package for Ukraine. During the negotiations in the Senate, the party was very accommodating to the Republicans on securing the border with Mexico, but the Republicans are demanding even tougher measures. For Ukraine, whose main military supporter in Russia’s war of aggression is the USA, a failure of the aid package would be a serious setback.