“The establishment, combined with the Democrats, are then going to cut out the border piece of this package … It was never about the border. It was always about Ukraine.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator JD Vance (R-OH) joined Steve Bannon’s War Room to discuss the latest push by Senate leadership to force a vote on a foreign aid supplemental, which would provide over $60 billion of funding for Ukraine, following the recent Ukraine-“border security” bill failure.
Watch the full interview here and read excerpts below.
Senator Vance on the establishment’s obsession with Ukraine aid and their renewed push for a Ukraine funding package:
“We have this border security package that has nothing to do with border security, gives a huge amount of authority for Mayorkas to grant amnesty en masse through the asylum process. So we’re going to kill that, and I think Republicans are united in killing that bill.
“Now, what is coming immediately after that is actually a huge surprise. And this is big news, because this was not known even 12 hours ago, but the establishment, combined with the Democrats, are then going to cut out the border piece of this package, which leaves Ukraine, Taiwan, Israel funding and try to jam it through today.
“Now, we have to remember that we’ve had no time to review the Ukraine piece of this. You know how I feel about Ukraine. Even some of my friends who are pro Ukraine funding are saying, wait, we have to have time to actually review this. But, Steve, this is all about giving away what little leverage we have over the Democrats, passing this Ukraine package and then putting pressure on the House.
“So it’s a lose from a policy perspective. It’s a lose from a political perspective, and I have no idea why we’re doing it except for this: Senate leadership is obsessed, Steve, I mean, absolutely a borderline fetish with getting Ukraine money and they’re willing to give away all of our leverage to get it. Everybody needs to say this is a no-go. Vote no on this package. It is the single most important thing to kill in the U.S. Senate since I’ve been here. The worst piece of legislation, I think, in the U.S. Senate since I’ve been here and we’ve got to absolutely get it out of here.”
Senator Vance on Ukraine-“border security” bill being a fig leaf for Ukraine funding from the start:
“What happened in the background, Steve, is that the negotiation happened completely in secret. Of course, we didn’t know any of the details of what was coming out. We were promised it was going to be great. But remember, we went into this negotiation saying there’s a very simple proposition here: the Democrats want Ukraine money, we don’t want to give them Ukraine money. Or even if we do, some of my colleagues do, of course – we want border security more than that. So tell Joe Biden very simply, he doesn’t get another dime for Ukraine unless he shuts down the American border. That was what we thought we were negotiating here. In reality, we were doing this massive amnesty package behind closed doors.
“And then, of course, like you said, dropped on Sunday evening for a Wednesday vote so that nobody would have enough time to read it and push back against the terrible provisions. Here’s what I’ve heard Steve, and I’ve heard this from both Democrats and Republicans in the United States Senate, that the Republicans were never empowered by our own leadership to really push for concessions.
“So James Lankford from Oklahoma is going to get a lot of crap for this. What I’ve heard is actually that he was told that he was not allowed to get major concessions on the border because this was always a fig leaf. It was always a question of how can you get enough on the border so the conservatives would swallow $61 billion for Ukraine.
“They may not love it, but they love border security. That was always the trade they were being forced to make. Well as you know, Steve, if you go into a negotiation and you’re already preemptively giving concessions and you’re unwilling to walk away because you’re supposed to give border to get Ukraine funding. Right, that’s what the Democrats are saying.
“Well, if the Republican leadership wants Ukraine funding as much as the Democrats, we don’t have any leverage to begin with. And that was the fundamental flaw in this entire process, is we had no leverage because our leadership didn’t allow us to have leverage. That’s why this whole thing has broken down and that’s why they’ve now immediately pivoted to getting money for Ukraine, which if we cared about the border, Steve, what we should be doing is going back to the drawing board saying: this isn’t good enough, but still the deal is on the table. No more money for Ukraine unless Biden shuts down the border. The fact that we’re not even doing that, Steve gives the whole game away. It was never about the border. It was always about Ukraine.”