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Schumer says border agreement ‘certainly not a done deal yet’

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday said negotiators have yet to agree on a border security deal that could unlock President Biden’s emergency supplemental request including aid for Ukraine.

“We remain hopeful, but it’s certainly not a done deal yet. There are a handful of issues that have not yet been agreed to,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. “On something as complicated as the border, it’s not just what we do that matters, it’s how we do it. So negotiations are not done yet.”

Schumer noted that he remained in contact with negotiators throughout the weekend.

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), one of the lead negotiators, indicated last week that a deal could come together imminently, but he said Monday that an agreement might be days away still.

Lankford, along with Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), have led talks alongside top administration officials for weeks, with all of those involved noting the complexity of writing an immigration measure.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Wednesday he was hopeful the upper chamber would kick off consideration of the supplemental bill, including a potential border deal, this week.

The Biden administration has sought a deal to unlock $61 billion in aid for Ukraine in its ongoing war against Russia, which is set to hit the two-year mark next month.

Murphy told Politico earlier Monday that border talks are “largely done” and have moved along to the Senate Appropriations Committee, a sign they could be in the homestretch.

Among the main sticking points for Republicans in recent days has been parole as the administration had been unwilling to broach that subject in discussions. The final deal is expected to include reforms to the asylum processes, with Republicans repeatedly saying the goal of talks is to stem the flow of migrants to the border.

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