Around 2.8 million people were apprehended entering the southern border in 2023.
But it’s not the United States border that has some of our lawmakers on both sides of the aisle worried.
It’s funding for Ukraine.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said on Sunday that he believes that funding for Ukraine will be tied to funding for the border, according to The Hill.
The “stopgap” spending bill offered by Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California did not have funding for Ukraine in it, and several House Republicans, such as Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, are vehemently opposed to additional funding for the country without greater oversight of where taxpayer money is going.
Chip Roy, JD Vance and Matt Gaetz just demanded a FULL ACCOUNTING of U.S. funding to Ukraine.
— TEAM USA 🇺🇸 (@__TEAM_USA) September 26, 2023
We lost the vote.
But we are winning the argument. https://t.co/A98dlWJUHC
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) September 27, 2023
The Senate eventually accepted the House version of the bill, but Graham said he believes that the path forward would include funding for Ukraine tied to border security and disaster relief.
“We got to fix asylum, we need border security agent increases, we need more detention beds,” Graham said, according to The Hill. “I think there’s Democratic support for major border security reform, but we have to attach it to Ukraine to those who say we need to fix our border.”
On CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” Graham said, “To those who say, ‘we need to help Ukraine,’ you’re right. To those who say, ‘we need to do the border, not Ukraine,’ you’re wrong.”
Graham said the Senate will have a “strong” border security measure, but also pushed for $60 or $70 billion in Ukraine funding for the next year, according to the Hill.
Graham’s explanation for the additional funding: “Because we need it.”
For your reference I have attached a map that has South Carolina circled in red.
That is the state you represent. The country you represent is the United States of America.
I circled in yellow the current territory considered Ukraine. That is not part of the… pic.twitter.com/WAaUwlisUu
— Joey Mannarino (@JoeyMannarinoUS) October 1, 2023
In March, while addressing a Charleston Area Convention Center crowd, according to the U.K. Daily Mail, Graham was confronted by a man in the audience who called him a “warmonger.”
“Warmonger? You’re at the wrong meeting,” Graham said, laughing it off.
Later, Graham asked the crowd, “Do you believe in family values? How would you like that to happen to your family?” the Daily Mail reported.
The same audience member yelled back, “It is!”
“Just shut up. Get out of here!” Graham snapped before going into a tirade about Putin.
But the man had a point that Graham and others like him refuse to concede.
While our border agents report being understaffed and in regular danger for their lives, a report in September revealed that U.S. taxpayers are not just paying for ammunition and costs of the war in Ukraine; we are also subsidizing farmers, small businesses and paying for first responders in the European nation.
That’s like taking your girlfriend’s kids out for ice cream while your kids are starving at home.
60 Minutes discovered the U.S. is financing more than weapons in Ukraine. The government is buying seeds/fertilizer for farmers, paying the salaries of 57,000 first responders and subsidizing small businesses. https://t.co/vKWwWDqUwM pic.twitter.com/BxXItNgQce
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) September 24, 2023
According to Graham, McCarthy will help Ukraine. “… But he’s telling everybody in the country, including me, ‘You better send something over the border for me to help Ukraine,’ and he’s right to make that demand,” Graham said, according to The Hill.
On Saturday, according to CBS News, President Joe Biden said that he expects McCarthy to “keep his commitment to the people of Ukraine and secure passage of the support needed to help Ukraine at this critical moment.”
On Sunday, Biden reiterated his commitment, not to the border but to Ukraine, saying, “We cannot under any circumstance allow American support for Ukraine to be interrupted.”
“Stop the games. Get to work,” Biden said, according to CBS News.
Also on Sunday, in response to reporters’ questions, Biden suggested McCarthy and Democrats had reached some sort of arrangement on funding for Ukraine.
Asked by reporters if he thought McCarthy could be trusted to follow through on deals, according to Reuters, Biden responded, “We just made one about Ukraine, so we’ll find out.
When McCarthy’s office was asked if such assurances were given, his office issued a “non-statement” that said, according to CNN, “Speaker McCarthy has been clear and consistent: we have an obligation to fix the crisis at the border and to ensure any request for further aid to Ukraine is matched with a sound strategy and accountability.”
That might sound like stern thinking, but it’s important to remember that the crisis on the southern border is not some one-time humanitarian disaster. It’s an ongoing situation. As USA Today reported, the 2.8 million contacts between border enforcement and illegal aliens in 2023 came after 2022 when there were 2.7 million contacts. It’s an invasion that’s only getting worse with time.
Although most of the wheeling and dealing goes on behind closed doors, the few interactions the American people are privy to, reveal one clear truth: American interests are not the primary mission of too many of our leaders.
Regardless of what you believe about Ukraine, our leaders were elected to represent U.S. interests first.
The safety of our borders and our people should not be held hostage to the needs or demands of a foreign nation.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.