U.S. lawmakers failed to vote on legislation containing nearly $50 billion in aid for Ukraine on Dec. 21 due to disagreements over prolonging pandemic-era border restrictions, New York Times reported.
The bid holding the aid to Ukraine has widespread support in the Senate and was supposed to be approved through a fast-track process, which requires the consent of all 100 senators, according to NYT.
However, discussions reportedly focused on the continuation or lack thereof of Title 42, an immigration policy that allows the U.S. to expel migrants crossing the country’s southwestern border, NYT wrote.
While there is still time for the lawmakers to vote on the aid package to Ukraine, they had initially hoped to reach a decision on Dec. 21.
“He (Zelensky) made it clear that without this aid package, the Ukrainians will be in real trouble and could even lose the war,” New York Senator Chuck Schumer told NYT. “So that makes the urgency of us getting this legislation done all the more important, and getting it done quickly without flaw.” However, he expressed optimism that an agreement would be reached.
President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 21 on his first trip abroad since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion.
He met with U.S. President Joe Biden and delivered a speech at Congress, thanking the country for support and urging lawmakers to continue providing assistance to Ukraine.