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Biden calls Congress to go Ukraine help earlier than new Covid funding

President Joe Biden urged Congress on Monday to shortly approve a multibillion-dollar help bundle for Ukraine earlier than making an attempt to go a brand new spherical of Covid-19 funding, warning that U.S. help for that nation’s fighters has almost been exhausted.

Biden’s new place marked a reversal from his insistence final month that the military aid and the pandemic funding be bundled together. Decoupling the 2 payments considerably will increase the probabilities Congress will go the $33 billion in requested Ukraine funding, whereas dimming hope for the $10 billion in Covid aid funds Biden mentioned are vital to provide up to date vaccines and photographs for the autumn.

“Beforehand, I had really useful that Congress take overdue motion on much-needed funding for COVID remedies, vaccines and exams, as a part of the Ukraine Supplemental invoice,” Biden mentioned in a press release launched by the White Home.

U.S. 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 help — a view expressed strongly by a number of Congressional Republicans,” Biden mentioned.

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

Biden on April 28 had requested Congress to allocate $33 billion supposed to cowl humanitarian and army help to Ukraine via 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 vital 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 assist 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 assist for the help bundle, 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 go 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 careworn 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, will probably be too late to get the instruments wanted for cover — vital remedies that will likely be obtainable in Europe, however not the US.”

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