Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., likely won’t have the votes to pass President Biden’s $106 billion national security supplement, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., told Fox News Digital in an interview on Tuesday night.
Senate Republicans rallied behind adding more stringent border security provisions to the package, such as more border patrol agents and stricter asylum processing standards. But Democrats have signaled they are not interested in changing border policies.
“There needs to be significant border security,” said Scott, a member of the Homeland Security Committee. “The border is a clear and present security risk to every American, and I think every Republican and hopefully some Democrats understand that.”
The question, Scott said, revolves around whether Republicans will opt for outright changes, expect Biden to follow through on the law, or whether aid to Ukraine could be contingent on reducing border crossings.
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“We need to have something really tied to reducing the number of people crossing the border, and it can’t be a small reduction. We need to reduce it the way Trump was able to reduce it,” said Scott. “The only way we can get a result is if we don’t give money to Ukraine unless it is absolutely tied every month to a reduction in the number of people crossing the border. That’s the only way it’s going to work, and I think it’s all there.”
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Schumer needs nine Republicans to vote with Democrats for the package to get it out of the Senate. Scott said no one opposes tougher border measures among the GOP. The package could get a vote next week.
Democrats in the upper chamber have a 51-49 majority, and any legislation would need at least 60 votes to advance. Any deal would have to pass the GOP-controlled House before it goes to Biden’s desk.
Schumer will bring Biden’s $106 billion national security funding request up for a vote as early as next week, Schumer said in a letter to Dear Colleague late Sunday night.
The additional White House request, sent to Congress in October, includes $61.4 billion for Ukraine, $14.3 billion for Israel (with $10.6 billion earmarked for military aid), $13.6 billion for certain provisions of border security and significant investment in Indo-Pacific security assistance. amounted to $7.4 billion. In addition, there is $9 billion earmarked for humanitarian aid to Ukraine, Israel and Gaza.
The supplemental request only proposes more money to facilitate the processing of migrants but no policy reforms.
At a press conference Tuesday, Schumer rejected blame and said “some Republicans are dangerously trying to link aid to Ukraine” to border security.
Negotiations between Democratic and Republican senators continued into a Thanksgiving recess, and Schumer told reporters, “Republicans are making it difficult” for a bipartisan aid bill.
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., have both signaled the GOP will pass more funding to Ukraine if a deal is struck for tighter immigration laws.
Fox News Digital has reached out to Schumer’s office and the White House for comment.