US Senate Republicans have blocked a US$110 billion aid bill. The aid package included $61 billion for Ukraine, funds for Israel, and aid for Gaza.

The aid bill’s defeat came as border compromises sought by Republicans were not achieved in exchange for their support. Every Republican senator, along with others, voted 51 to 49 against advancing the bill, falling short of the required 60 votes.

The opposition of the US Senate Republicans insisted on tying the Ukraine aid to broader US immigration and asylum reforms. Some Republican members expressed support for aiding Ukraine but were adamant about addressing domestic concerns over the US southern border.

The White House warned that US funds for Ukraine may soon run out, adding urgency to the situation. Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky’s head of office, Andriy Yermak, expressed concern as well. Yermak warned that a failure to secure more US aid could increase the possibility of losing the war to Russia and make it “impossible to continue to liberate” the held areas.

President Joe Biden expressed a willingness to make significant compromises on border issues to secure the passage of the aid bill.

Prior to the unsuccessful vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer delivered an emotional plea to his colleagues. He characterised the vote as a crucial “moment in history” and urged them to “rush to the defence of democracy” in Ukraine.

In a response to the aid bill’s setback, the Biden administration announced US$175 million in new security assistance for Ukraine, including ammunition and equipment for protecting national infrastructure. However, concerns persist about the fate of the broader US$110 billion aid package as well.

The aid package already includes provisions for border security, but negotiations with Democrats are complicated by Republican demands for additional changes to asylum rules. Lawmakers are now sent back to the negotiating table just before Congress’s winter break.