Biden calls on Congress to pass Ukraine aid bill ‘immediately’, says COVID funding ‘will evolve separately’

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President Biden on Monday urged Congress to “immediately” adopt the “urgent” $33 billion proposal to provide military, economic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, saying he was “ready to accept” this measure and a COVID-19 funding package “will move”. separately” so that the draft law on Ukrainian aid could arrive on his desk “immediately”.

Biden last month requested $33 billion from Congress for additional security, military and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine and for US efforts to strengthen European security in cooperation with US allies and partners. NATO.

BIDEN SEEKS $33B FROM CONGRESS FOR ADDITIONAL EMERGENCY FUNDING IN UKRAINE

“The plan was substantial in size because the need is great: we must support Ukraine as it defends itself against Russian aggression,” Biden said in a statement Monday. “The need is also urgent: I have nearly exhausted the resources given to me by a bipartisan majority in Congress to support Ukrainian fighters.”

The president said the aid “has been critical to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield.”

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the debt ceiling at an event in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 4 in Washington. A California man was arrested in Iowa last week on his way to Washington DC, after being found with a “hit list” featuring Biden, former presidents and Dr Anthony Fauci.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“We cannot allow our aid shipments to stop while we wait for further action from Congress,” Biden said. “We are about ten days away from reaching this critical deadline.”

The president said there “appears to be strong support for the proposal” he submitted last month, and said Congress “will probably pass it in the form that I have proposed.”

The president said he previously recommended that Congress take “delayed action” on “much-needed funding for COVID treatments, vaccines, and tests, as part of the additional Ukraine bill.”

Biden on Monday, however, said congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle had let him know that “such an addition would slow action on urgently needed Ukrainian aid.” Biden said the view was “strongly expressed by several congressional Republicans.”

“We cannot afford to delay this vital war effort,” Biden said. “Therefore, I am ready to accept that these two measures evolve separately, so that the draft law on Ukrainian aid can arrive on my desk immediately.”

Biden added, however, that “as vital as it is to help Ukraine fight Russian aggression, it is equally vital to help Americans fight COVID.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters after a Republican strategy meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021.
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters after a Republican strategy meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“Without timely COVID funding, more Americans will die unnecessarily,” Biden said. “In the fall, if we are hit with new variants, it will be too late to get the tools needed for protection – critical treatments that will be available in Europe, but not in the United States.”

He called on Congress to “immediately” pass the Ukrainian supplemental funding bill and urged Congress to “proceed quickly with the COVID funding bill.”

In addition, Fox News has learned that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has insisted on separating Ukraine aid from COVID and the president has indicated to congressional leaders his desire to do so. put Ukraine aid first without COVID funding, given opposition from Senate Republicans.

Democratic spoilers are making a new bid on the Ukraine aid package, with a new overall figure of $39.8 billion, Fox News has learned. After the passage of the Ukraine Aid Bill, the COVID measure would start making its way through the House of Representatives.

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The Ukraine Emergency Supplementary Funding Bill includes $20.4 billion in additional security assistance for Ukraine, including $5 billion in additional drawdown authority, $6 billion for l Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and $4 billion for the State Department’s Foreign Military Funding Program.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave a press conference on Saturday April 23, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave a press conference on Saturday April 23, 2022.
(FoxNews)

WHITE HOUSE SAYS BIDEN ‘WOULD LOVE TO VISIT UKRAINE’ BUT THERE ARE ‘NO CURRENT PLANS’ FOR A TRIP

The administration is also requesting funds to support efforts by the Justice Department’s “KleptoCapture task force” to pursue seizures of high-value assets from sanctioned individuals linked to Russian actions in Ukraine.

The request for additional emergency funding came after the Biden administration last month announced $800 million in additional military aid to Ukraine, including heavy artillery and ammunition, as the country continues to fight to defend itself against the war on several fronts of Russia. This funding was in addition to an authorization of $800 million in arms, ammunition and other security aid earlier this month.

This $1.6 billion the president approved last month for Ukraine is in addition to the more than $1 billion the Biden administration has already sent to Ukraine.

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