Biden calls Congress to move Ukraine support earlier than new Covid funding

President Joe Biden urged Congress on Monday to rapidly approve a multibillion-dollar support bundle for Ukraine earlier than attempting to move a brand new spherical of Covid-19 funding, warning that US support for that nation’s fighters has almost been exhausted.

Biden’s new place marked a reversal from his insistence final month that the navy support and the pandemic funding be bundled collectively. Decoupling the 2 payments considerably will increase the possibilities Congress will move 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 beneficial that Congress take overdue motion on much-needed funding for COVID remedies, vaccines and checks, as a part of the Ukraine Supplemental invoice,” Biden mentioned in a press release launched by the White Home.

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks throughout a Rose Backyard occasion on the White Home in Washington, Could 9, 2022.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

“Nonetheless, I’ve been knowledgeable by Congressional leaders in each events that such an addition would decelerate motion on the urgently wanted Ukrainian support — a view expressed strongly by a number of Congressional Republicans,” Biden mentioned.

“We can’t afford delay on this very important struggle effort,” he mentioned. “Therefore, I’m ready to simply accept that these two measures transfer individually, in order that the Ukrainian support invoice can get to my desk immediately.”

Biden on April 28 had requested Congress to allocate $33 billion meant to cowl humanitarian and navy support to Ukraine by way of September. Below Biden’s proposal, almost two-thirds of that sum would go towards safety and navy 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 10 days’ time. “I’ve almost exhausted the assets given to me by a bipartisan majority in Congress to help Ukraine’s fighters,” he mentioned.

“This support 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 help for the help bundle, there is no such thing as a 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 move 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 Individuals 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 remedies that will probably be out there in Europe, however not the US.”

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