Newsmax: Senate GOP: No Deal on Ukraine, Border Before Christmas

December 19, 2023
Newsmax: Senate GOP: No Deal on Ukraine, Border Before Christmas

By Jeffrey Rodack — read the full article at

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., the GOP’s lead negotiator for trying to work out a deal on funding the war in Ukraine and passing new border security reforms, says there’s no chance of reaching an agreement before Christmas, The Hill is reporting.

“We’re clearly not going to have text complete this week to be able to have a vote to be able to pull this stuff together,” he said. “We’ll keep working until we get it done. We’re all going to be back in January on this, but it’s going to take a while to be able to finish up all the text.”

His comments came after Senate Majority Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., had tentatively set a vote on the package this week.

But Lankford said he doesn’t even expect his bipartisan negotiating group to release a framework this week, according to The Hill.

“I don’t anticipate a document coming out and saying to everybody, ‘OK, here’s what it is.’ This is going to be a moving target,” he added.

Senate Republican Whip John Thune of South Dakota also acknowledged there will not be any agreement reached this week.

“We’ll work through the [Christmas] break and hopefully have something ready to vote on” in January, he said. “Obviously, we’re not getting this done this week, for sure.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky added, “Border security policy is complex. And our colleagues at the negotiating table are clear-eyed about the fact that getting this agreement right — and producing legislative text — is going to require some time.”

Meanwhile, Schumer on Monday touted what he called the “significant progress” negotiators made over the weekend.

“I urge them to keep going,” he said.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., has been pushing for passage of border security provisions, telling NBC that negotiations are important to ensure “that we’re fighting [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and protecting and supporting our greatest ally in the Middle East, Israel.”

“My opinion is that we must work until we find the solution because failure is not an option here,” Sinema said on Thursday when asked if the Senate should remain in Washington until a deal has been reached.

Sinema, a negotiator on border discussions along with the Biden administration and Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Lankford, told NBC News she isn’t interested “in debating the timelines” of whether a measure can get passed before the end of the year.

“What I am interested in doing is moving the process forward,” she said.

The Hill reported that Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said he and his Democrat colleagues will discuss on Tuesday whether the border security negotiations would be better off if the rest of the Senate went home early this week.

“I think we need to have a conversation as a caucus about this,” he said. “Can we help make progress in negotiations by staying here longer this week?”