Biden says he’s concerned about Ukraine support amid House chaos
By The Citizen on October 4, 2023
President Biden on Wednesday said he’s worried that the disarray on Capitol Hill could mean he can’t deliver the aid promised to Ukraine’s war efforts, adding that he will give a speech on the issue shortly.
“It does worry me, but I know there are a majority of members in the House and Senate in both parties who have said that they support funding Ukraine,” Biden told reporters.
Biden said his speech will focus on “why it’s critically important for the United States and our allies that we keep our commitment.”
The White House has warned of the potential fallout if Congress doesn’t pass additional aid for Ukraine after it was left out of the short-term government funding measure that former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) negotiated with Democrats last week to avoid a government shutdown. McCarthy was ousted by a contingent of Republicans in the House, along with Democrats, on Tuesday, catapulting the chamber into chaos.
Biden previewed that his remarks will be about how the coalitions he has made with allies to support Ukraine have strengthened the U.S. “across the board.”
“I think that it’s clear to the vast majority of the foreign policy community and both left and right that this has been a valuable exercise for the United States of America to increase the support we have around the world,” Biden said.
“I knew that the majority of the American people still supported Ukraine and the majority of the Congress, both Democrats and Republican supported it. So, I don’t think we should let gamesmanship get in the way of blocking it,” he added.
Biden also previewed that an announcement could be coming about another way to provide support to the war-torn country in their efforts to fight the Russian invasion.
“We can support Ukraine in the next tranche that we need, and there is another means by which we may be able to find funding for that, but I’m not going to get into that now,” he said when asked how long the U.S. can support Ukraine without additional funding.
The White House has in recent days been outspoken about its ongoing support for Ukraine and the need for Congress to hold a vote on additional aid for the country, which Russia invaded in February 2022. The U.S. has provided billions of dollars in military and financial assistance since then and coordinated aid with allied nations.
The White House in August sent a supplemental funding request to Congress that included $24 billion in military, financial and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.