President Joe Biden urged Congress on Monday to swiftly approve a multi-billion dollar aid package to Ukraine and then pass the new round of Covid-19 funding to the U.S.’s fighters in that country. He warned that aid was almost exhausted.
Biden’s new position showed a reversal from his claim last month Military aid and pandemic funds are bundled together.. Separating the two bills greatly increases the likelihood that Congress will pass $ 33 billion in Ukrainian funding requested. Biden, meanwhile, dims expectations for the $ 10 billion Covid Relief Fund, which said it needed to supply the latest vaccines and shots for the fall.
“Previously, as part of the Ukraine Supplementary Bill, I recommended that Congress take delinquency measures for the coveted funding for COVID treatment, vaccines, and testing,” Biden said in a White House. Said in a statement.
US President Joe Biden spoke at the Rose Garden event at the White House in Washington on May 9, 2022.
Kevin Lamarck | Reuters
“But I was informed by the leaders of both parties’ parliaments that such an addition would delay action on urgent Ukrainian aid-a view strongly expressed by some parliamentary Republicans.” Biden said.
“We can’t afford to delay this important war effort,” he said. “Therefore, I am ready to accept that these two measures work separately so that the Ukrainian aid bill will reach my desk soon.”
Biden on April 28 asked Congress allocates $ 33 billion It aims to cover humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine until September. Under Biden’s proposal, almost two-thirds of that total will be devoted to Ukraine’s security and military assistance to fend off Russian invasion.
Biden said in a statement on Monday that additional funding was needed and urgent and that funding for shipments to Ukraine would be exhausted within 10 days. “I have almost exhausted the resources given to me by a bipartisan majority in parliament to support Ukrainian fighters,” he said.
“This aid is crucial to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield. We cannot stop the shipment of aid while waiting for further parliamentary action,” Biden said.
His statement acknowledged that while there appears to be bipartisan support for aid packages, there is no such consensus on more Covid funding. Republicans opposed Democratic efforts to combine funding for Ukraine with additional pandemic bailout funding.
“So I call Congress to pass the Ukrainian Supplementary Funding Bill immediately and bring it to my desk within a few days, and I will prompt Congress to proceed with the COVID Funding Bill. I urge you to do so, “said Biden.
He emphasized that more parliamentary action is needed to deal with the pandemic.
“Without timely COVID funding, more Americans would die unnecessarily,” he said. “If you’re hit by a new variant in the fall, it’s too late to get the tools you need to protect it. This is an important treatment available in Europe, not the United States.”