​​​​US Congressmen Explain What Was Discussed at Closed Briefing on Support of Ukraine

Wednesday, 6 December 2023

US congressmen have explained what had been discussed during a closed-door briefing on the vote for the aid package for Ukraine.

As reported by CNN, the senators note that the meeting was tense and did little to break the impasse.

CNN sait the briefing turned into a heated argument with shouting, as a number of lawmakers were unhappy with the refusal to include tougher immigration policies in the aid package.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the dispute erupted when Minority Leader Mitch McConnell asked Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma to speak about the border instead of asking reporters about Ukraine.


Schumer added that one of the Republicans "was disrespectful and started screaming at one of the generals and challenging him to why they didn’t go to the border".

CNN's sources said the man who shouted was Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas.

Cotton himself said that the participants of the briefing "refused to answer any questions about the crisis at the border or what we can do to solve that crisis".

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said there was tension in the room at the beginning of the meeting because "nobody talked about the border".

Republican senators called the briefing a waste of time because they argued it did not discuss information that was not already known or available to the general public. Some Republicans even left the briefing early.

"It was more dramatic because you’ve got an entire political party that appears … willing to flush support for Ukraine and Israel down the drain because they’d rather have a wide-open border than support for Ukraine and Israel," said Senator Kevin Cramer.

Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney said his party wants to help both Ukraine and Israel, but tougher border security measures are needed.

"They don’t want to do that. So Republicans are just walking out of the briefing because the people there are not willing to actually discuss what it takes to get a deal done," he said.

Senator Roger Marshall said his Republican colleagues would have liked more focus on the border during the briefing and were disappointed by the lack of conversation on the topic.

Democratic Senator Mark Warner emphasised that the consequences of ending aid to Ukraine will "haunt" the United States for decades.

"The intelligence assessments have said for months now that Putin thinks he can out-wait the West and out-wait America, and what I don’t understand from some of my friends, are we willing to prove him right," he added.

Representatives of both parties have been in talks to reach a compromise, but Senator Chris Murphy, the Democrats' top negotiator, told reporters that the talks had broken down because Republicans had refused to back down from their demands.

It was reported that Democrats in the US Senate unveiled a national security package on Tuesday worth about US$111 billion, which included aid to Ukraine and Israel, as well as measures to secure the southern border with Mexico.

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