The United States Senate has revealed a comprehensive $118 billion bipartisan agreement aimed at enhancing border security and extending wartime assistance to both Israel and Ukraine.
The bill has garnered support from President Joe Biden and leaders from both the Democratic and Republican parties.
However, it has faced opposition from conservative Republicans demanding stricter immigration controls along the Mexican border.
The proposed legislation allocates $60 billion to support Ukraine in its struggle against Russia’s invasion, addressing a critical pause in the U.S.’s provision of ammunition and missiles to the country.
Additionally, Israel is set to receive $14.1 billion in military aid, which includes funds to secure the Red Sea against attacks from Yemen’s Houthi rebels on commercial shipping and to bolster allies in Asia amidst growing tensions between China and Taiwan.
The agreement would empower the president with new authority to swiftly deport migrants in the event that the influx of asylum claims and applications becomes unmanageable, ensuring border enforcement is expedited and intensified.
With the presidential election on the horizon in November, illegal immigration is anticipated to be a central topic.
Donald Trump, leading the Republican field, has been vocally framing the situation at the southern border as an “invasion,” making it a focal point of his campaign.
On Sunday, Biden called on Congress to quickly approve the agreement, enabling him to enact it into law.
He cautioned Republicans, who have raised concerns over border security, stating that inaction was not a viable choice.
“Now we’ve reached an agreement on a bipartisan national security deal that includes the toughest and fairest set of border reforms in decades. I strongly support it,” Biden remarked.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also praised the deal, planning a vote for Wednesday and describing it as a critical step in strengthening the nation’s security both domestically and internationally.
“This is one of the most necessary and important pieces of legislation Congress has put forward in years to ensure America’s future prosperity and security,” Schumer stated.
However, the bill faces potential hurdles in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, particularly from Republicans who criticize the bill’s approach to border security and from Democrats concerned about the increased military aid to Israel amidst the Gaza humanitarian crisis.
House Speaker Mike Johnson expressed strong opposition, predicting the bill’s failure in the Republican-majority House.
Johnson, in a statement on X, stated, “This bill is even worse than we expected, and won’t come close to ending the border catastrophe the president has created,” he said in a statement on X, “This bill is even worse than we expected, and won’t come close to ending the border catastrophe the president has created.”