U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks throughout a Rose Garden occasion on the White House in Washington, May 9, 2022.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
President Joe Biden urged Congress on Monday to rapidly approve a multibillion-dollar help bundle for Ukraine earlier than making an attempt to move a brand new spherical of Covid-19 funding, warning that U.S. help for that nation’s fighters has almost been exhausted.
Biden’s new place marked a reversal from his insistence final month that the army help and the pandemic funding be bundled collectively. Decoupling the 2 payments considerably will increase the probabilities Congress will move the $33 billion in requested Ukraine funding, whereas dimming hope for the $10 billion in Covid aid funds Biden stated are obligatory to provide up to date vaccines and photographs for the autumn.
“Previously, I had recommended that Congress take overdue action on much-needed funding for COVID treatments, vaccines and tests, as part of the Ukraine Supplemental bill,” Biden stated in an announcement launched by the White House.
“However, I have been informed by Congressional leaders in both parties that such an addition would slow down action on the urgently needed Ukrainian aid — a view expressed strongly by several Congressional Republicans,” Biden stated.
“We cannot afford delay in this vital war effort,” he stated. “Hence, I am prepared to accept that these two measures move separately, so that the Ukrainian aid bill can get to my desk right away.”
Biden on April 28 had requested Congress to allocate $33 billion meant to cowl humanitarian and army help to Ukraine by September. Under Biden’s proposal, almost two-thirds of that sum would go towards safety and army help for Ukraine because it fends off invading Russian forces.
In his assertion Monday, Biden stated the extra funding is each obligatory and pressing, with cash for shipments to Ukraine set to expire in 10 days’ time. “I have nearly exhausted the resources given to me by a bipartisan majority in Congress to support Ukraine’s fighters,” he stated.
“This aid has been critical to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield. We cannot allow our shipments of assistance to stop while we await further Congressional action,” Biden stated.
His assertion acknowledged that whereas there seems to be bipartisan assist for the help bundle, there isn’t any such consensus for extra Covid funding. Republicans had opposed Democrats’ efforts to pair the cash for Ukraine with the extra pandemic aid funding.
“So I call on Congress to pass the Ukrainian Supplemental funding bill immediately, and get it to my desk in the next few days. And then, I urge Congress to move promptly on the COVID funding bill,” Biden stated.
He pressured that extra congressional motion is required to handle the pandemic.
“Without timely COVID funding, more Americans will die needlessly,” he stated. “In the fall, if we are hit by new variants, it will be too late to get the tools needed for protection — critical treatments that will be available in Europe, but not the United States.”