Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., likely doesn’t have the votes to pass President Biden’s $106 billion national security supplemental package as is, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., told Fox News Digital in an interview Tuesday evening.
Senate Republicans have been rallying behind adding stricter border security provisions in the package, such as more border patrol agents and tougher asylum processing standards. But Democrats have signaled they’re not interested in changing border policies.
“There’s going to have to be significant border security,” Scott, a member of the Homeland Security Committee, said. “The border is a clear and present danger to the security of every American, and I think every Republican and hopefully some Democrats understand that.”
The question, Scott said, revolves around whether Republicans will opt for straightforward modifications, expecting Biden to adhere to the law, or whether Ukraine aid could be contingent upon a decrease in border crossings.
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“We will have to have something that is really tied to really reducing the number of people crossing the border, and this can’t be a small reduction. We need to reduce it the way Trump was able to reduce it,” Scott said. “The only way we’re going to get a result is if we will not give Ukraine money unless it’s completely tied on a month-to-month basis to a reduction in number of people crossing the border. That’s the only way it’s going to work, and I believe that’s where everybody’s going to be.”
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Schumer would need nine Republicans to vote alongside Democrats for the package to make it out of the Senate. Scott said no one is objecting to stronger border measures among the GOP. The package could get a vote as early as next week.
Democrats in the upper chamber have a 51-49 majority, and any legislation will need at least 60 votes to advance. Any agreement will need to pass the GOP-controlled House before it makes it to Biden’s desk.
Schumer will bring the Biden administration’s $106 billion national security funding request to the floor for a vote as early as next week, Schumer said in a Dear Colleague letter Sunday night.
The White House’s supplemental request, which was sent to Congress in October, includes $61.4 billion for Ukraine, $14.3 billion for Israel (with $10.6 billion allocated for military aid), $13.6 billion for some border security provisions and significant investments in Indo-Pacific security assistance totaling around $7.4 billion. Additionally, there’s $9 billion earmarked for humanitarian aid in Ukraine, Israel and Gaza.
The supplemental request only proposes more money to speed up processing of migrants but no policy reforms.
In a press conference Tuesday, Schumer deflected blame and said “a handful of Republicans have dangerously tried to link Ukraine aid” to border security.
Negotiations between Democratic and Republican senators continued over the Thanksgiving recess, and Schumer told reporters, “Republicans are making it difficult” for a bipartisan aid bill.
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., have both signaled the GOP will pass more Ukraine funding if a deal is struck for tighter immigration laws.
Fox News Digital has reached out to Schumer’s office and the White House for comment.