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Biden urges Congress to approve Ukraine aid bill, slams Republicans over inaction

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 6, 2023 8:43 PM 2 min read
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

U.S. President Joe Biden urged Congress to pass the Ukraine aid bill on Dec. 6 as the Senate prepares for the first procedural vote later the same day.

U.S. funding for Ukraine is rapidly running out as many Republican lawmakers refuse to support additional funding. The White House previously said that the U.S. will run out of funds to support Ukraine in the coming weeks if Congress does not take action.

The first vote on the bill in Congress's upper chamber is expected to fail as Republicans demand the inclusion of what Democrats view as draconian migration policies in exchange for their support.

"Frankly, I think it's stunning that we've gotten to this point in the first place," Biden said, adding that the Republican Party is "willing to give Putin the greatest gift he could hope for and abandon our global leadership."

"History is going to judge harshly those who turn their back on freedom's cause," the president said at the White House.

Biden noted he is willing to "make significant compromises" on border policies and urged Congress to pass the bill before lawmakers go to recess for the holidays.

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, traditionally a vocal supporter of Ukraine, urged fellow Senate Republicans to vote against the bill.

"I hope all of our members vote no," McConnell told reporters on Dec. 5, tying his opposition to the bill with Republican demands to strengthen migration border policy at the U.S. border with Mexico.

The events leading up to the Senate vote also give little reason for confidence.

A Senate discussion on the aid package on Dec. 5, led by the U.S. secretary of state and defense secretary, escalated into a shouting match, with some Republican lawmakers storming out.

Zelensky cancels address to US senators as Republicans rally against aid package
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that President Volodymyr Zelensky canceled his video address to U.S. senators scheduled for Dec. 5, The New York Times reported.
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