Fallout from the breakdown of immigration and border reform talks continued Monday as Republican and Democrat lawmakers traded barbs on the subject, which one GOP senator called "a price that has to be paid" in order to pass a supplemental aid package for Israel and Ukraine.
Talks that were supposed to extend into the weekend instead broke down Friday due to the deep divide over substantive border reform, NBC News reported Monday.
Congressional Republicans are insisting on and not backing down from demands that passage of the House's H.R. 2, "Secure the Border Act" bill, is required in exchange on aid.
While Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., cried foul on the Senate floor Monday because Republicans "aren't interested in meeting us halfway," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Democrats don't get it.
"I think there's a misunderstanding on the part of Senator Schumer and some of our Democratic friends," Cornyn said, according to NBC News. "This is not a traditional negotiation, where we expect to come up with a bipartisan compromise on the border. This is a price that has to be paid in order to get the supplemental."
That was news to Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who was part of the bipartisan negotiations alongside Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla.
"Apparently I've wasted the last 3 weeks of my life since this was never a negotiation – just a take it or leave it demand," Murphy posted to X.
Hanging in the balance, however, is President Joe Biden's $106 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. The lion's share, however, is earmarked for Ukraine — $62 billion.
The Biden administration said Monday that "we are out of money" on Ukraine aid to date, with the Office of Management and Budget saying the money will be dried up before the end of the year.
But the price is long overdue for reform on the porous southern border. The Biden administration's policies aren't working, so it's time for "serious policy changes," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.
House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., reaffirmed that in a post on Monday.
"The Biden Administration has failed to substantively address any of my conference's legitimate concerns about the lack of a clear strategy in Ukraine, a path to resolving the conflict, or a plan for adequately ensuring accountability for aid provided by American taxpayers," Johnson posted to X. "Meanwhile, the Administration is continually ignoring the catastrophe at our own border. House Republicans have resolved that any national security supplemental package must begin with our own border.
"We believe both issues can be agreed upon if Senate Democrats and the White House will negotiate reasonably."
Mark Swanson ✉
Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.
© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.