Biden calls Congress to pass major Ukraine aid package before new Covid funding

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

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

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

Biden’s new place marked a reversal from his prior insistence final month that the navy help and the pandemic funding be bundled collectively. Decoupling the 2 payments considerably will increase the probabilities Congress will cross the $33 billion in requested Ukraine funding, whereas dimming hope for the $10 billion in Covid reduction funds. Biden mentioned are needed to produce up to date vaccines and photographs for the autumn.

“Beforehand, I had advisable that Congress take overdue motion on a lot wanted funding for COVID therapies, vaccines and exams, as a part of the Ukraine Supplemental invoice,” Biden mentioned in a press release launched by the White Home.

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

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

Biden on April 28 had requested Congress to allocate $33 billion meant to cowl humanitarian and navy help to Ukraine by September. Underneath 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 ten days’ time. “I’ve almost exhausted the sources given to me by a bipartisan majority in Congress to help Ukraine’s fighters,” he mentioned.

“This help has been vital to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield. We can not permit 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 package deal, there isn’t a such consensus for extra Covid funding. Republicans had opposed Democrats’ efforts to pair the cash for Ukraine with the extra pandemic reduction 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 deal with 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 cover – vital therapies that can be out there in Europe, however not the USA.”

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