Republican Congressional Dysfunction Imperils America's Global Standing
The foreign aid deal will determine the world order.
Late on February 4, a long-awaited bipartisan Senate bill combining border security with foreign aid to Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel was released. The next day, many House and Senate Republicans announced that they would not vote for the bill amid strong opposition from Donald Trump. Less than 48 hours later, the bill was all but dead. While the Democratic-led Senate plans a test vote on the measure on February 7, Republicans are expected to block it -- despite the fact that they demanded that border security measures as the price for passing aid to Ukraine. (According to Punchbowl News, Senate Democrats may subsequently move to pass the foreign aid without the border security measures.)
The bill's swift rejection almost four months after President Joe Biden proposed the deal has already devastated the United States' global standing and benefited Russia and China.
Ukraine is currently running low on ammunition in its effort to stave off an unprovoked Russian invasion. While the EU came through with financial aid to Ukraine, Ukrainians desperately need American-made ammunition as well as air-defense missiles. While Russia has improved its missile targeting, as Congress has deliberated, more and more Russian missiles have hit Ukrainian cities. Several months ago, nearly all of them were shot down; in the latest attack on February 7, 44 of 64 were intercepted. After months of a static frontline, Russia may be on the verge of a breakthrough in Eastern Ukraine.
In addition, Taiwan faces the prospect of an invasion by Beijing. If the aid bill does not pass, Beijing will likely see the failure as a sign that the United States will not come to Taiwan's defense. Trump, speaking to Fox News last month, declined to say if he would defend Taiwan.
Should Ukraine fall or have to accept a bad peace deal because of a lack of U.S. aid, the possibility becomes much greater that Russia will invade a NATO member, drawing the U.S. into a wider European war. Should Beijing invade Taiwan, the possibility becomes much greater that the U.S. will be drawn into a wider war in the Asia-Pacific.