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McConnell Faces GOP Conflict Over Immigration and Ukraine Aid Amid Trump’s Influence

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. By Gage Skidmore

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is grappling with internal GOP conflicts over immigration and national security issues, particularly with regards to military aid to Ukraine and Israel. This comes as former President Donald Trump pushes against a bipartisan immigration deal, potentially derailing a major security package, as reported by CNN.

During a private meeting with Republican senators, McConnell described the situation as a “quandary.” The impasse stems from bipartisan talks over immigration, which have sparked intraparty feuding and may obstruct the passage of a significant legislative package.

One of the most contentious issues is the aid to Ukraine amidst its ongoing conflict with Russia. McConnell, a proponent of increased support for Ukraine, is now considering alternative approaches, including possibly breaking up the package into separate bills. However, no definitive decision has been made.

House Republicans, influenced by Trump’s vehement stance on immigration, are opposing the bipartisan talks. This opposition is complicating efforts to address the migrant surge at the southern border and pass legislation to support Ukraine.

McConnell’s strategy involves reminding his GOP colleagues of the potential opportunities for border security, citing a 2018 quote from Trump doubting Democratic support for such measures. The meeting reportedly featured intense debates over U.S. aid to Ukraine, with no consensus on a unified position within the party.

Senators like Josh Hawley and Roger Marshall expressed the divide within the GOP, particularly over Ukraine. However, there is a unified stance on securing the U.S. border. McConnell’s role as a “historian in the room” was noted, reminding the conference of past opportunities and the current potential for progress on border security.

The session also saw passionate appeals from senators like Mitt Romney, Jerry Moran, Jim Risch, and Susan Collins in support of aiding Ukraine. However, the GOP remains delicately balanced, with concerns about sustaining the fight without depleting global capabilities.

The discussion, which also covered the strategy for U.S. involvement in Ukraine, highlighted the complex challenges facing the GOP as it navigates internal divisions and Trump’s influence on policy matters.