Republicans blocked a $60 billion aid package in the Senate Thursday night, without which the Ukrainian front could collapse within a few weeks. For them, this is an acceptable price in the service of a Donald Trump victory.
Donald Trump’s cynicism is unquestionable. For months, the billionaire has made support for Ukrainians dependent on the simultaneous sealing of the U.S.-Mexican border. There was some logic to this. In December alone, some 300,000 people illegally crossed the border to enter the U.S. This is undoubtedly the biggest failure for Joe Biden, who for a long time remained oblivious to how serious the situation is.
Why did Trump’s senators reject the immigration package? Things have changed. The compromise packages include many Republican demands, such as complete closure of the border if the number of refugees exceeds 4,000 per day over seven days. The package also includes vast resources to reduce the time for asylum application processing, from a few years to six months. Yet Trump told his loyal senators to reject the package. His plan assumes that illegal immigration will be the main theme of the election campaign, so solving this issue now would put an end to that scenario.
The Republican Party in the Senate voted against the bill on border security, which would have also provided an additional $60 billion in aid for Ukraine.
The immigration reform, Republicans wanted was linked to aid for Ukraine (and Israel). Kyiv is the one that will pay for this strategy. This is also a preview of what Trump will do if he wins the White House again. He himself says that he would reach an agreement with Putin within 24 hours (at the expense of Ukraine). We now know that this was not just rhetoric, but an expression of the billionaire’s genuine cynicism.
Will Donald Tusk Have To Take Sides?
“Ronald Reagan (…) must be turning in his grave today. Shame on you,” Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk posted on X (formerly known as Twitter). It was, after all, the Republican Party that set the tone of the military rivalry with the Soviet Union in the 1980s, which greatly contributed to the collapse of the “evil empire,” as well as to the independence of Ukraine. And Congress gave Volodymyr Zelenskyy a standing ovation only 14 months ago. There were many Republicans among them then. Yet today, this party has become a tool in Trump’s hands. The Republicans have turned from a conservative right-leaning party into a populist movement that is ready not only to abandon Ukrainian democracy to the mercy of Putin’s brutal dictatorship, but could shake the foundations of democracy in America itself.
Existential Moment for America
Tusk’s comment signifies the clear support of the Polish prime minister for one side in the U.S. versus U.S. dispute. Since 1989, only the Law and Justice Party has dared to make such a decision, although it sided with Trump’s populism. However, the decision of the government leader is not without risk. But it is an existential moment for America, toward which Poland can no longer remain neutral.