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Biden calls on Congress to urgently approve aid to Ukraine, says he ‘can’t let Putin win’

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President Joe Biden on Wednesday called on Congress to urgently approve a stalled Ukraine aid package, hours before a planned key Senate procedural vote that Republicans vow to block as they demand new restrictions on US border security.

He called it “staggering” that Congress took so long to approve his request for $61 billion in additional funding for Ukraine, issuing a stark warning of what could happen if more funds were not approved. , and claiming that the Republicans would give to Russia. President Vladimir Putin is “the greatest gift he could hope for” if the United States ends its global leadership now.

“Congress must address the national security needs of the United States and, quite frankly, our partners as well,” Biden said, speaking from the White House.

“This can’t wait,” he said, saying lawmakers needed to act before the holidays and the money would run out by the end of the year.

“Republicans in Congress are ready to give (Russian President Vladimir) Putin the greatest gift he could hope for and abandon our global leadership, not just in Ukraine, but beyond,” he said.

“Make no mistake, today’s vote will be remembered for a long time. History will judge harshly those who turn their backs on the cause of freedom, because we cannot let Putin win. Say it again. We can’t let Putin win,” he said.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks urging Congress to pass his request for a national security supplement, which includes funding to support Ukraine, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, December 6, 2023.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Biden reminded Americans of the atrocities Russia has allegedly committed so far, including targeting civilians, kidnapping children, and attacking their power grid last winter so they were left without heat or electricity .

He added that this is not limited to what might happen in the immediate future, but is a long-term situation. Biden warned of the possibility of U.S. troops joining the fight if Putin seizes Ukraine and invades a NATO ally, which would trigger Article 5 in which an attack on a member of the NATO is seen as an attack on all.

“If Putin attacks a NATO ally, if he continues, and then attacks a NATO ally, when we are committed as a NATO member, that is say we are defending every inch of NATO territory, then we will have something we haven’t done.” “I’m not looking for and what we don’t have today: American troops fighting “Russian troops. American troops fighting Russian troops, if it moves into other parts of NATO,” he said.

The president said: “I’m not ready to leave, and I don’t think the American people are either. »

The delay comes as Republicans demand that what he calls far-right border policies be included in the additional package. Biden accused Republicans of “playing chicken with our national security” by “holding Ukraine funding hostage to their extremely partisan border policies.”

He said he was “prepared to do much more” to change border policy, including billions of dollars for border agents, immigration judges and asylum officers, but said the Republican Party would not was not willing to compromise.

“This has to be a negotiation. Republicans think they’re getting everything they want, without any bipartisan compromise. That’s not the answer. That’s not the answer. And now they’re willing to put literally bringing Ukraine to its knees on the battlefield. And harming our national security in the process,” Biden said.

Biden said he had already explained with Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford and other Republican senators what he was willing to compromise on, saying it was “much more” and included “substantial changes “, while asserting that the Republican Party was “unwilling to do so.”

He called on Congress to “do something and do what it takes to stand with the people of Ukraine.”

“We are the reason why Putin didn’t totally invade Ukraine and move beyond that point,” he said. “This is crucial. Petty, partisan politics cannot stand in the way of our responsibility as a leading nation in the world. And literally, the whole world is watching.”

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