Washington — A top White House official called on Republicans to settle for border security measures that Democrats will support as time runs out for Congress to pass emergency funding for.
“Negotiations that fail is when one side can’t take yes for an answer. They push for too much,” Shalanda Young, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, told “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
“You can’t have everything your way in a negotiation. Democrats and Republicans have to vote for this bill,” she said. “It’s time to cut a deal that both sides can agree to.”
Congress has been unable to pass additional aid for Ukraine since Republicans have soured on helping the U.S. ally in its war against Russia without also enacting stricter U.S.-Mexico border security measures. Last week,that includes aid for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and other priorities because Republicans said it didn’t go far enough on the border, where illegal crossings over the past two years.
YoungCongress last week the U.S. will run out of funding to assist Ukraine by the end of the year, which she said would “kneecap” Ukraine on the battlefield.
Young said Sunday the U.S. has “about a billion dollars left to replenish our own stockpile.”
“This comes down to a policy decision,” she said. “Do we risk our own U.S. readiness, as the world is more complex? We’ve seen it. Or does Congress ensure that we can protect our own national security while also being there for our allies like Ukraine? It shouldn’t be an either or. Congress should do what it’s done several other times in a bipartisan manner — fund our own national security and make sure we’re there for our allies.”
President Biden has signaled flexibility on the border, saying last week he is “willing to do significantly more” on border security.
Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, who has been part of the small bipartisan group of senators negotiating a border deal, said “the problem” is the Biden administration wants to “slow down” the increase in migrants crossing the border and isn’t trying to stop it.
“We’ve had more people cross illegally just [in] October, November and December so far this year than we had in any year in the Obama administration,” Lankford told “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “This is not a matter of just let’s turn it down a little bit. We’ve got to figure out how to be able to manage this.”
Lankford said there needs to be changes to asylum policy because the U.S. can’t keep up with processing.
“We got to be able to figure out how are we going to manage capacity, and what does that actually look like?” he said.
There’s also uncertainty about whether a bill that can pass the Democratic-controlled Senate would garner enough support in the House, where Republicans hold the majority.
Lankford, noting that a Republican-backed immigration bill that passed the House earlier this year with no Democratic support would not make it through the Senate, said House Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana has not given him a red line.
“House Republicans laid out a very good proposal, very thorough, covered a lot of issues,” he said. “Had no Democrats. Obviously we’re not going to get 20 to 30 Democrats in the Senate or a Democratic White House to be able to sign that, but that doesn’t mean we just sit and do nothing.”
When asked whether Ukraine aid could be passed separately from border funding, Lankford said no, but indicated that Republicans won’t get everything they want.
“Why would we deal with other people’s national security and ignore American national security?” he said. “It’s time to be able to finish this, make a decision and do what we can do to be able to help the nation. We can’t do everything on the border. But we can do the things to actually begin to control the border.”
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