Joe Biden urges Speaker Johnson to swiftly pass Ukraine aid bill amid political headwinds
Joe Biden (Photo: EPA)

US President Joe Biden called on the Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson to "immediately" put to a vote the bill on aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. The American leader said this during a briefing after the US Senate supported the relevant document.

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"I urge speaker Johnson to bring it to the floor immediately. There's no question that if the Senate bill was put on the floor in the House of Representatives it would pass. It would pass and the speaker knows that. So I call on the speaker to let the full House speak its mind and not allow a minority of most extreme voices in the house to block this bill even from being voted on. This is a critical act for the House to move. It needs to move. The bill provides urgent funding for Ukraine so it can keep defending itself against Putin's vicious onslaught," the US president said.

He noted that in recent weeks, the United States has seen a shortage of artillery ammunition in Ukraine, and Ukrainian families are worried that Russian attacks will disrupt the power supply or do something even worse.

"This bipartisan bill sends a clear message to Ukrainians and to our partners and to
our allies around the world: America can be trusted, America can be relied upon,
and America stands up for freedom. We stand strong for our allies. We never bow
down to anyone and certainly not to Vladimir Putin," Biden said.

He called for the adoption of the aid bill and reminded that the USA united more than 50 countries in a coalition to support Ukraine (in the Ramstein format – ed.), and also united NATO – and America cannot retreat now.

The US leader reminded that the stakes in this war "extend far beyond Ukraine", and if Putin is not stopped, he will not be limited to Ukraine – and the costs for the Americans and their partners will increase.

The American leader also appealed to Republicans in Congress, who "think that they will not be held accountable" if they block aid to Ukraine. He noted that "history is watching" and the failure to help Ukraine at this critical moment "will never be forgotten."

"I want to be clear: this bill sends military equipment to Ukraine, but it spends the money right here in the United States of America places like Arizona where the Patriot missiles are built, in Alabama where the Javelin missiles are built, in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas where artillery shells are made. We Supply Ukraine with military equipment from our stock piles and then we spend our money replenishing those stock piles so our military has access to the stocks piles that are made right here in America by American workers that not only supports American jobs and American communities. This allows us to invest in maintaining and strengthening our own defense manufacturing capacity," Biden explained.

On the eve of the Senate's approval of the aid bill, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson rejected this document: according to him, the upper chamber of the parliament "could not agree at this moment" and did not include the issue of border security with Mexico in the document.

If Johnson blocks a vote on the bill, Democrats will be able to use a procedure that allows them to bypass the speaker and bring the issue to the floor. However, this requires time and 218 signatures of parliamentarians (Republicans have 221 mandates, Democrats have 213).

On February 13, the US Senate in the final vote supported the draft law on foreign financing, which provides for $60.06 billion in support of Ukraine, including $7.85 billion in direct budget assistance. Voting results – 70 "for", 29 "against". Consideration of this issue continued from February 8.

Since Congress still could not approve the $60 billion aid package to Ukraine, the United States had to stop supplying ammunition and missiles to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.