Supplemental Aid Package Cloture Vote Fails

Despite a last-minute plea from President Biden in which he called out Oklahoma Senator James Lankford, Republicans were unanimous in opposing the cloture motion, saying we can no longer pump money into securing other nations’ borders while allowing our own to be overrun.

Wednesday, December 6th 2023, 9:17 pm



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U.S. military aid for Ukraine, Israel, and other strategic partners remains in jeopardy, as Senate Republicans Wednesday defeated a procedural vote on a $106 billion supplemental aid package that did not include the border security provisions that the GOP has been demanding.

Despite a last-minute plea from President Biden in which he called out Oklahoma Senator James Lankford, Republicans were unanimous in opposing the cloture motion, saying we can no longer pump money into securing other nations’ borders while allowing our own to be overrun.

Lankford (R-OK) has been Senate Republicans' lead negotiator on the border security element of the aid package, which was, in fact, part of the original proposal from the White House.

"Literally, the entire world is watching -- what will the United States do?" a disbelieving President Biden said this afternoon.

Biden, on the one hand, castigated Republicans for potentially derailing the flow of weapons and equipment that have been so critical to Ukraine since Russia invaded almost two years ago, but he also sent a clear signal that he is open to both security and policy changes related to immigration, saying the system is broken.

"I thought we were making some real progress," Biden said in answer to a question following his prepared remarks, "Lankford‘s a decent guy, [it] looked like he was prepared to move in a direction that we could come up with a compromise...but they walked away."

Sen. Lankford responded immediately on social media, saying, "I never walked away from negotiations. We have to secure the border."

A short time later, he doubled down on that point on the Senate floor, standing in front of a message board containing the number 12,080.

"Yesterday was the highest number of illegal crossings in the history of the country," Lankford said, referring to the number.

Oklahoma's senior Senator says, the truth is, Mexican drug cartels currently control the U.S.-Mexico border and are making billions of dollars moving migrants across the border and taking advantage of an asylum system that's putting U.S. national security at risk.

"We will not move to a national security bill that does security for other nations and ignores our own," Lankford stated. "We will not do it."

The other truth seems to be that, even if Lankford can get a deal in the Senate, there's no guarantee it will pass in the GOP-controlled House.

"The reality is," said Rep. Josh Brecheen (R-OK2) in an interview Wednesday, "a lot of us don’t want to see us continue to spend more money overseas unless it’s paid for."

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