President Biden Warns Congress: American Aid to Ukraine Must Continue or Face Consequences
President Joe Biden Reassures Allies of Continued U.S. Aid to Ukraine
President Joe Biden has affirmed that American aid to Ukraine will continue for the time being, as he seeks to reassure allies of ongoing U.S. financial support for the war effort. However, he warns Congress that time is running out.
Urgency to Maintain American Aid for Ukraine
In remarks from the Roosevelt Room, Biden emphasized the importance of not allowing American aid to Ukraine to be interrupted. This comes after Congress passed a short-term funding package that dropped assistance for Ukraine in the fight against Russia, in order to avert a government shutdown. The funding bill is set to expire in mid-November, and Biden urges Congress to negotiate an aid package as soon as possible.
Biden acknowledges that the majority of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress support helping Ukraine in its battle against Russian aggression. He pleads with Congress to stop playing games and prioritize providing the necessary support.
Growing Republican Resistance in Congress
While lawmakers recognize the increasing difficulty of obtaining approval for Ukraine assistance in Congress, Republican resistance to the aid has been gaining momentum. Recent votes in the House have revealed potential challenges ahead, with almost half of House Republicans voting to strip $300 million from a defense spending bill dedicated to training Ukrainian soldiers and purchasing weapons.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy further excluded additional Ukraine aid from a measure to keep the government running, effectively closing the door on a Senate package that aimed to provide $6 billion to Ukraine. Both the House and Senate passed the stopgap measure to avoid a government shutdown, but members from both parties compromised on increased aid for Ukraine.
Biden’s Assurance and Concern from Foreign Allies
President Biden assures U.S. allies that additional funding for Ukraine will be secured, despite the recent actions in Congress. European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell expresses surprise and concern over the exclusion of Ukraine funding. He hopes that this decision will not be final and that Ukraine will continue to receive U.S. support.
A Shift in U.S. Support and Republican Party Stance
These recent actions in Congress indicate a gradual change in the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia. It also reflects the Republican Party’s movement toward a more isolationist stance. Lawmakers met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who stressed the importance of additional aid for Ukraine’s war efforts.
Despite McCarthy’s change in position due to pressure from his right flank, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell pledge to swiftly pass the full White House aid request. However, gaining support will become increasingly difficult as more GOP senators question the aid or demand it be tied to immigration policy for the southern border.
Congressional Discussions and Support for Ukraine
Several lawmakers express differing opinions on the matter. Senator Rick Scott believes a conversation with the American public is necessary, while Representative Mike Rogers believes the Pentagon has sufficient funds to support Ukraine until December. Representative Gregory Meeks criticizes the message being sent by Speaker McCarthy and former President Donald Trump, emphasizing the need for reliable support.
In response to Russia’s invasion, the U.S. has approved four rounds of aid to Ukraine, totaling approximately $113 billion. Biden has called on Congress to provide an additional $24 billion to support Ukraine in its ongoing battle.