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Biden: Serious consequences for Ukraine if Congress does not approve aid to Kiev

2024-02-28 17:03:41, Kosova & Bota CNA

Biden: Serious consequences for Ukraine if Congress does not approve aid to Kiev

A $95 billion foreign aid bill passed by the Senate this month remains blocked by the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, jeopardizing $60 billion in aid to Ukraine. Leaders of the US Congress met with President Biden on Tuesday at the White House to discuss the impasse over aid to Ukraine as it continues its fight against Russian aggression.

As Ukrainians bury the victims and mark the second anniversary of the start of Russia's large-scale attack, US President Joe Biden issued a warning to US lawmakers.

"The consequences of inaction are serious for Ukraine," he said.

House Speaker Mike Johnson says he won't bring up the $95 billion foreign aid bill, which includes $14 billion for Israel, $60 billion for Ukraine and $4.8 billion for partners in the Indo-Pacific region. , including Taiwan, to combat Chinese aggression, before measures are taken to improve the situation on the US-Mexico border.

"The country's first priority is securing our borders. I believe the President can change this immediately through executive orders," he said.

A bipartisan deal to change US immigration laws in exchange for approving aid to Ukraine collapsed after months of negotiations over opposition from Republican lawmakers. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he has called on House Speaker Mike Johnson to make a fair decision on the matter.

"Regardless of the current political consequences, you will regret it if you don't make the right decision on this," he said.

But many Republican lawmakers don't think a new round of aid to Ukraine will have much of an impact on its war with Russia.

"The reality we are facing is that Vladimir Putin is not going to lose the war," said Republican Senator Ron Johnson.

Democrats have the option of using a procedural maneuver to bypass Republicans to get the foreign aid bill up for a vote. Democratic lawmaker Jamie Raskin told VOA there is enough support for this procedural maneuver.

"A petition to vote on the foreign aid bill would require the signatures of a majority of members of Congress. The petition would request that the draft law come out of the committees and be voted on by the legislators," he said.

Members of the House of Representatives return from recess on Wednesday, but they must immediately focus on efforts to approve the US government's budget before the March 1 and 8 deadlines./ VOA

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