United States: Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, one day after the failure of the US Senate to pass a border security deal he had negotiated for four months, expressed his optimism that a military aid package to Ukraine without ties to the border measure would be approved by enough Republicans. 

Murphy’s biggest worry is that aid to Ukraine will fall victim to the same force that killed the border plan: Donald Trump. 

“Once he got loud on the immigration bill, the thing fell apart … if he turns his flamethrower on Ukraine, I wonder how it survives,” Murphy said in a Wednesday interview in his Capitol Hill office. 

Border Security Deal Fallout 

He spoke shortly after most GOP Senators voted against giving a chance for debate on the Bill that coupled of two unrelated issues, which Republican lawmakers had demanded then rejected as it was flawed. 

Visual Representation – Democratic President Joe Biden’s proposal for new emergency aid to fight the war in Ukraine went back as far. Credit | REUTERS

Democratic President Joe Biden’s proposal for new emergency aid to fight the war in Ukraine went back as far as August, and forward, Republican-led Congress had refused any response. The Republicans refused because they needed the enactment of a bill first providing for stopping the continuous coming into America at that point southwestern border with Mexico. 

Ukraine Aid and Trump’s Influence 

Murphy hoped that the “debacle” surrounding the border security bill would persuade Republicans to at least cast a ballot in favor of approving $60 billion in aid for Ukraine. 

The overwhelming favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump, has declared that he would force the United States’ European allies to pay back the country for the $200 billion in weapons that it sold to Ukraine. This has sparked worries that, in the event of a second Trump presidency, support for Kyiv’s struggle against Russia will completely dry up. 

Legislative History and Challenges 

A major legislative victory for Murphy came in 2022 when he was able to insert legislature through Congress that became the first new, significant gun control bill in many decades. The moment was special as he had advocated for gun reform following the 2012 mass shooting, which led to the death of 20 children and six adults in Sandy Hook Elementary School in his home state of Connecticut. 

Murphy, Republican Senator James Lankford, and independent Senator Krysten Sinema came together to collaborate on a bipartisan bill that addressed border security. Unlike the gun legislation, it also did not clear the Senate and was also seen as likely to die in the House of Representatives. 

Murphy was optimistic last Sunday that the border plan would be passed with the support of enough Republicans and the majority of Senate Democrats, and the three senators went around praising it to reporters—however, Republican support collapsed by the following day. 

“I’ve never seen anything like what happened on Sunday and Monday in my legislative career,” said Murphy, 50. 

“The very identity of the Republican Party has become intertwined with an unsolved immigration problem, and I think that was the existential crisis that they confronted, grappled with, and submitted to on Sunday and Monday,” Murphy said. 

“There are some folks who are not voting today because they have policy differences on the bill … there are some folks who don’t want any immigration of any type,” he said, rattling off other reasons as well. 

According to House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson, the Bill in the Senate became ‘dead’ due to its drawbacks. 

At this point, Murphy believes that there will never be a settlement with the Republicans on border security and immigration. 

Existential Crisis for Republicans 

On the contrary, Murphy told his colleagues that there would not be an immigration bill of such size and scope unless Democrats gained full control over Congress and the White House to end a filibuster rule in the Senate so they could pass major legislation without Republican votes. 

However, it does not mean that, in Murphy’s eyes, the chances to cooperate with Republicans on other bills have passed. 

He recalls Lankford favorably sharing that he had spent hours on the phone conversation with him while driving to Connecticut for a Thanksgiving visit. 

Noting that the earnest Oklahoma senator, a devout Baptist minister, does not consume alcohol, Murphy said: “Occasionally, during the gun negotiations late at night, we could slip a couple of bottles of wine into the room. That was not an option in this negotiation.”