U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks throughout a Rose Backyard occasion on the White Home in Washington, Might 9, 2022.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
President Joe Biden urged Congress on Monday to rapidly approve a multibillion-dollar assist package deal for Ukraine earlier than attempting to cross a brand new spherical of Covid-19 funding, warning that U.S. assist for Ukraine’s fighters has almost been exhausted.
Biden’s new place marked a reversal from his prior insistence final month that the army assist and the pandemic funding be bundled collectively. Decoupling the 2 payments considerably will increase the possibilities Congress will cross the $33 billion in requested Ukraine funding, whereas dimming hope for the $10 billion in Covid aid funds Biden mentioned are needed to provide up to date vaccines and pictures for the autumn.
“Beforehand, I had really useful that Congress take overdue motion on a lot wanted funding for COVID therapies, vaccines and assessments, as a part of the Ukraine Supplemental invoice,” Biden mentioned in a press release launched by the White Home.
“Nonetheless, I’ve been knowledgeable by Congressional leaders in each events that such an addition would decelerate motion on the urgently wanted Ukrainian assist – a view expressed strongly by a number of Congressional Republicans,” Biden mentioned.
“We can’t afford delay on this important conflict effort,” he mentioned. “Therefore, I’m ready to simply accept that these two measures transfer individually, in order that the Ukrainian assist invoice can get to my desk straight away.”
Biden on April 28 had requested Congress to allocate $33 billion meant to cowl humanitarian and army assist to Ukraine by way of September. Beneath 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 mentioned the extra funding is each needed and pressing, with cash for shipments to Ukraine set to expire in ten days’ time. “I’ve almost exhausted the sources given to me by a bipartisan majority in Congress to assist Ukraine’s fighters,” he mentioned.
“This assist has been important to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield. We can’t enable our shipments of help to cease whereas we await additional Congressional motion,” Biden mentioned.
His assertion acknowledged that whereas there seems to be bipartisan assist for the help package deal, 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 name on Congress to cross the Ukrainian Supplemental funding invoice instantly, and get it to my desk within the subsequent few days. After which, I urge Congress to maneuver promptly on the COVID funding invoice,” Biden mentioned.
He burdened that extra congressional motion is required to handle the pandemic.
“With out well timed COVID funding, extra People will die needlessly,” he mentioned. “Within the fall, if we’re hit by new variants, it is going to be too late to get the instruments wanted for defense – important therapies that will probably be obtainable in Europe, however not america.”