In a move to frustrate the Biden administration’s foreign policy agenda, Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives have voted to block the $1.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific region. The move seeks to divert the funds to be used to increase security along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The bill to provide the $1.5 billion was approved in the Senate in a bipartisan voting, but when it reached the lower chamber, it was kept from coming to the floor for a vote by a bloc of Republican House members. This blocked the spending package, even though the Senate version had the backing of the White House. The reason for the blockade comes as House Republicans are pushing for additional funds to be used to increase security at the border.
While the Biden administration has proposed a package of funding that they say will resolve the migration crisis on the border, House Republicans are demanding more money to supplement what is currently allocated. They argue that until the requested additional funds are provided, they cannot support any measures to assist foreign countries.
For the White House, the move by Republicans to block the aid package is another example of the obstacles they are facing in trying to pass their agenda. In a statement, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “We are disappointed that House Republicans blocked the passing of this foreign aid package, denying important security and diplomatic assistance to countries like Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific region.”
The dispute now lies with Congress in how to best resolve the issue and provide additional funds to these countries that are in need. While its outcome remains uncertain, this latest move from House Republicans serves as a stark reminder of the major obstacle Biden is facing while trying to press forward his foreign policy agenda.