Republicans and Democrats alike in the US Senate slammed the Joe Biden administration on Thursday for its refusal to facilitate the transfer of fighter jets to Ukraine through Poland, amid the ongoing military conflict in the eastern European country.

At a Foreign Relations Committee meeting on Thursday, members from both parties in attendance criticised the Biden administration for its decision to block the transfer of fighter jets to Ukraine despite President Volodymyr Zelensky‘s appeal for air power against Russia.

“It’s not clear why we are standing in the way,” Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, told CNN about the Biden administration’s reluctance.

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Senator Jim Risch, the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, further told CNN that the Biden administration’s stance on the issue was “embarrassing.”

“The first branch of government is almost unanimous on this. I don’t know who is against this up here, but it’s embarrassing for the second branch of government to be divided. This is a job for the President of the United States. He needs to step up. Knock heads together and get everybody in the same place. We really need to do that. This is a matter of life and death,” Senator Risch told CNN, emphasizing the need for urgency.

The Republican Senator also dismissed the White House’s concern that the transfer of jets to Ukraine could be seen as a “high-risk” and “escalatory” move by the US, calling it “nonsense.”

“We’re taking their yachts, we’re taking their vacation properties, we are giving the Ukrainians all the arms we can give them. It is foolish to say this is somehow going to aggravate them more. That’s nonsense,” the 78-year-old told CNN.

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“The administration just told us they think Ukraine needs other things more and would be more effective in the battlefield. In theory, that means that you have the United States government deciding what the military strategy should be for Ukraine. Ukraine wants planes. They have made a decision,” Senator Rob Portman, another Republican, told CNN, slamming the Biden administration for its attempts to dictate military strategy in Ukraine.

The criticism of the Biden administration pertaining to its stance on Ukraine comes a day after the Pentagon said that the US facilitating the transfer of jets to Ukraine through Poland was a “high-risk” manoeuvre that could be interpreted as a sign of escalation by Russia.

It also signals an apparent divide over the situation in Ukraine in the US government, which had, thus far, appeared united in its stance.