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National security spokesman John Kirby affirmed the White House’s stance on Thursday, stating there are no regrets about bundling Ukraine aid with border security funding in the proposed $111 billion package.
When asked about any second thoughts on this decision, Kirby firmly stated, “No,” and explained, “All four buckets of the supplemental … were of an urgent nature.” Kirby further elaborated on the urgency of each component, including “Ukraine, Israel … Indo-Pacific strategy … and then the border.”
He also underlined the importance of the border funding by pointing out Republican concerns, saying, “Some $6 billion in there for additional resources for the border. If you listen to Republicans talk about the border and the urgency that they think needs to be conveyed, OK, well, it was in our national security urgent request.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre expressed frustration over the Senate Republicans’ stance, emphasizing the critical nature of the supplemental funding. Jean-Pierre warned there were consequences to Republicans’ actions, stating, “It’s stunning that we have gotten to this point,” and accused them of giving a gift to Russian President Vladimir Putin by not supporting Ukraine’s war effort. She added, “History will remember them harshly,” urging immediate action.
The refusal to pass the bill, which would have provided aid to Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific, came after a 51-49 vote that did not reach the necessary 60-vote threshold. The vote was marked by the uniform opposition of the Republicans and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) voting ‘no’ to retain the option of reintroducing the bill. Jean-Pierre called for a resolution, stating, “The path forward is that they need to get this done.”