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Biden urges Congress to pass Senate aid package

by Abbey Fenbert February 5, 2024 7:16 AM 1 min read
U.S. President Joe Biden addresses the nation from the Oval Office of the White House on Oct. 19, 2023. (Jonathan Ernst - Pool/Getty Images)
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U.S. President Joe Biden urged lawmakers to pass a bipartisan Senate agreement on foreign aid and border policy in a White House press release published Feb. 4.

The bill, which allocates $60 billion in support for Ukraine, is the result of months of closed-door negotiations in the Senate.

"Get it to my desk so I can sign it immediately," Biden said.

The Senate is expected to vote on the bill no later than Feb. 7. If it passes, the new law would  impose severe restrictions on immigration and asylum at the southern border.

Republican lawmakers have demanded that new aid to Ukraine be accompanied by changes to U.S. border policy, and have blocked additional security assistance to Kyiv since fall 2023.

Even if the Senate approves the bill, it will likely face fierce opposition in the House of Representatives, where Speaker Mike Johnson warned any agreement would be "dead on arrival."

Johnson said on Feb. 3 that the House will hold a vote next week on a standalone $17.6 billion aid package for Israel that excludes funding for Ukraine entirely.

Biden urged Congress to "swiftly pass" the funding bill.

"It allows the United States to continue our vital work, together with partners all around the world, to stand up for Ukraine’s freedom and support its ability to defend itself against Russia’s aggression," he said.

U.S. officials warned in early January that there was no money left for Ukraine without a deal from Congress. The gap in funding comes as Ukraine enters its third year of war under a barrage of Russian drone and missile attacks.

"As I have said before, if we don’t stop (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s appetite for power and control in Ukraine, he won’t limit himself to just Ukraine and the costs for America will rise," Biden said.

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