US President Biden, House Rep Mike Johnson urge Congress lawmakers to pass Ukraine aid

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WASHINGTON, DC : US President Joe Biden and House Speaker Mike Johnson, in a joint appearance, urged the lawmakers to pass assistance for Ukraine which is facing an uncertain path forward in the House, reported The Hill.

Biden, speaking at the annual Friends of Ireland luncheon to mark St. Patrick’s Day, expressed his appreciation for Ireland’s commitment to providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine during its war with Russia and to the people of Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas war.

“I’m committed to continuing to do our part,” Biden said to the room of bipartisan lawmakers, where, Hojnson was also present.

“I’m confident the vast majority — and excuse me for saying this — but I think a vast majority of members of Congress are willing to do their part. And I continue to urge every member in this room to stand up to Vladimir Putin. He’s a thug,” Biden added.

After hearing his statement, those present in the room, including the Speaker, applauded, reported The Hill.

Biden further called on the House to send him the national security supplemental that passed the Senate in a 67-32 vote last month.

The legislation included USD 60 billion in aid for Ukraine, and funding for Israel, along with funds for humanitarian assistance in Gaza.

However, House Speaker Mike Johnson has not brought it up in the House for a vote, according to The Hill.

“It sends a clear message that America stands up for freedom and we bow down to no one. To no one in the world,” Biden said.

Leo Varadkar, the taoiseach of Ireland, echoed Biden’s calls to provide aid to Ukraine to better prepare themselves for Russia’s attempt at invasion, which began in February 2022.

“Ukraine must not fall, and together we need to stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes,” Varadkar said.

Friday’s public plea comes as Johnson has signalled that he plans to move on aid for Ukraine but has not disclosed details of what the package would look like, with a growing contingent of his conference opposed to sending any assistance to the embattled US ally, The Hill reported.

He further said that the chamber is first focusing on completing the government funding process.

At the House GOP retreat in West Virginia this week, Johnson said “I understand the timetable and I understand the urgency of the funding,” but once against, he cast doubt on the Senate supplemental.

He said that the lower chamber will “work the will of the House” and is “processing through all the various options right now,” warning that the ultimate product “may not look exactly like the Senate supplemental.” (ANI)

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