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Biden accuses Trump of pressuring Republicans to reject border measures and Ukraine aid deal

A bipartisan deal prepared by the Senate would allocate $118 billion to immigration restrictions and be tied to a foreign aid package.

US PRESIDENT JOE Biden has criticised Republicans for withdrawing their support for a deal on Ukraine aid and border enforcement measures, accusing Donald Trump of pressuring conservatives to oppose the legislation.

The bipartisan deal prepared by the Senate would allocate $118 billion to immigration restrictions and be tied to a foreign aid package including $60 billion for Ukraine and $14 billion for Israel.

Republicans’ lead senator Mitch McConnell had navigated the deal with Democrat Chuck Schumer but former US President Donald Trump has stirred up opposition to the proposal, saying the border measures do not go far enough.

Biden told the US Congress that it would be doing Russia’s bidding if it failed to renew funding for Ukraine’s resistance to Russia, saying the “clock is ticking” for Ukraine.

“We can’t walk away now. That’s what Putin’s betting on,” Biden said. “Supporting this bill is standing up to Putin. Opposing this bill is playing into his hands.” 

Biden said the immigration portion of the legislation included the “toughest set of reforms to secure the border ever”. 

He accused Trump of putting US national security at risk.

“Donald Trump thinks it’s bad for him politically. Therefore… even though it helps his country, he’s not for it,” Biden said, adding that Trump would “rather weaponise this issue than actually solve it”. 

“For the last 24 hours he has done nothing, I’m told, but reach out to Republicans in the House and the Senate and threaten them and try to intimidate them,” Biden said.

Biden and Trump are the likely contenders for the presidential election in November, which means every step that each now takes is calculated in the context of the impending voting.

Additional reporting by Press Association and AFP

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