US Congress, February 4, 2024 (AFP / Daniel SLIM)
Amid Republican infighting and a showdown with President Joe Biden, the US Congress is deadlocked and has postponed a vote on aid to Ukraine or Israel until Thursday.
Later in the afternoon, senators rejected a text that would have released new war funding for the two countries and reformed America's immigration system. This despite months of tough negotiations.
Under pressure from Donald Trump, who maintains even greater control over his troops in Congress, most Republicans ultimately voted against it — even those who initially supported it.
The Senate initially had to try its luck again on another speech whose outcome was so uncertain. But the vote was postponed to Thursday.
This second text includes aid for both countries, but not migration reform.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said the upper chamber of Congress would reconvene Thursday afternoon, “to give our Republican colleagues the night to get their act together.”
The US, Ukraine's main military backer, has been struggling for months to send new funds to Kyiv, with more than $110 billion already released by Congress.
Senate Democratic staff are exploring a series of scenarios to verify this aid at all costs.
– “Worthy of Poles” –
But the risk is the same every time: Despite repeated pleas from Joe Biden, these efforts come up against a wall of Trumpist lawmakers.
However, to be declared, the aid must be approved by both houses of the US Congress.
The head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kuleba, who has been pressing the United States for months to send new funds to counter Russia, lamented the “confused” situation on Wednesday.
Map of areas controlled by Ukrainian and Russian forces in Ukraine February 6, 2024 at 8pm GMT (AFP / Valentin RAKOVSKY)
“Last night, I received a final report from Washington on possible scenarios, some of which are worthy of thrillers,” Mr. Kaulepa declared. “Everything is very messy, depends on many factors and can go right or left or straight,” he added.
Failure to accept the new funding would be a huge disappointment for Ukraine, whose counteroffensive over the summer has largely failed.
It would also be a significant setback in the face of Joe Biden's European partners, who approved an additional 50 billion euros for Kyiv on February 1.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said it was “vital” that Congress continue to support Ukraine, adding that “a Russian victory would weaken us and embolden not only Moscow, but also China, Iran and South Korea.”
– Confusion among Trumpists –
The U.S. has not yet gone further in verifying funding for Israel, a historic ally in its war against Palestinian Hamas since October 7.
A screen showing the failure of a vote in the US Congress on February 6, 2024 (AFP / Brendan SMIALOWSKI)
Because President Biden demands that any aid to Israel be tied to an envelope for Ukraine.
House Republicans refuse, but failed to pass their own bill on Tuesday to force his hand.
Already reeling from the ouster of one of its leaders months ago, conservatives at the helm of the agency suffered another setback in the evening by failing to impeach Joe Biden's minister in charge of immigration.
They accuse Alejandro Mayorgas of creating a crisis on Mexico's border, and for this reason want to impose an embargo not seen in nearly 150 years.
Republican public servants, who thought they had enough votes to win the referendum, were surprised by the surprise appearance in the room of Democratic elected official Al Green, who was still recovering from an illness. Abdominal surgery.
An elected official from Arizona arrived in the middle of the polls in a wheelchair, barefoot and in a hospital gown, ultimately tipping the scales in favor of Democrats.
“Alcohol enthusiast. Twitter ninja. Tv lover. Falls down a lot. Hipster-friendly coffee geek.”