White House urges Congress to approve both, but arms for Ukraine deemed more urgent
Democrats will table a separate $10 billion coronavirus financing proposal so that the nearly $40 billion in arms and other aid to Ukraine can be approved more quickly before a “criticism” deadline, US President Joe Biden said Monday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) had originally pinned funding for Covid-19 treatments, tests and vaccines to the $33 billion proposal for additional aid to Ukraine. Republicans, who fully supported Ukraine’s funding but had a problem with how the Covid funding proposal would affect border policy, threatened to block it in the Senate.
In a statement on Monday, Biden said he would agree to split the bill if Ukrainian funds — which have since grown by another $6.8 billion — were approved more quickly.
“We cannot afford any delay in this vital war effort. That is why I am willing to accept that these two measures are implemented separately, so that the Ukrainian aid law can come straight to my desk.” said Biden.
“This aid has been crucial to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield. We cannot allow our aid shipments to stop while we await further action from Congress. We are about ten days away from meeting this critical deadline,” he added.
Biden did say helping Americans fight the virus was “equally important” if helping Ukraine, if “More Americans Will Die Unnecessarily” without timely funding. The US will also miss out on new treatments and “next generation vaccines in development”, as well as falling behind “our effort to help low-income countries to [covid] vaccines in weapons,” added the chairman.
Democrats wanted to use the Covid funding to get rid of Title 42, a policy that allowed the US to reject or deport migrants caught illegally crossing the border because of the pandemic. Republicans objected.
However, they had no objection to spending more money on Ukraine, but reportedly agreed to provide $3.4 billion in food aid and an additional $3.4 billion for the US military to replace the equipment Biden provides. from Pentagon stockpiles to Ukraine, according to Roll Call. The bill for Ukraine is still being finalized and could appear in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Earlier on Monday, Biden signed the “Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022,” a World War II plan to route weapons and other equipment to the Kiev government, approved by Congress in late April. The signing was scheduled to take place on the day Russia celebrates as the anniversary of its victory over Nazi Germany in World War II – which Biden completely ignored, opting instead to mention the 1950 founding of the EU’s predecessor. bring, and praise the “Allied nations defeat the scourge of fascism in Europe” on May 8 – the date when the Nazis surrendered to the American and British forces on the continent, but not to the Soviets.