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Biden urges House Speaker Johnson to 'immediately' bring Ukraine aid bill to floor

Anadolu Agency AMERICAS
Published February 13,2024
The U.S. flag flutters in the wind as the Senate works through the weekend on a $95.3 billion foreign aid bill with assistance for Ukraine and Israel at the U.S. Capitol on February 11, 2024 in Washington, DC. (AFP)

U.S. President Joe Biden urged House Speaker Mike Johnson on Tuesday to "immediately" bring a Ukraine aid bill to the floor.

"I urge Speaker Johnson to bring it to the floor immediately," Biden said at a news conference. "I call on the speaker to let the full House speak its mind and not allow a minority of the most extreme voices in the House to block this bill even from being voted on, even from being voted on. This is a critical act, for the House to move this bill."

The president stressed that the bipartisan bill, which was passed by the Senate earlier in the day, sends a clear message to Ukrainians, U.S. partners and allies around the world.

"America can be trusted. America can be relied upon, and America stands up for freedom. We stand strong for allies. We never bow down to anyone and certainly not Vladimir Putin," said Biden.

He said opposing the bill would play into "Putin's hands."

"If we don't stop Putin's appetite for power control in Ukraine, he won't limit himself just to Ukraine. And the costs for America and our allies and partners are going to rise," he said.

Biden also addressed House Republicans, who he said have to decide.

"Are you going to stand up for freedom? Or are you going to side with tyranny? Are you going to stand with Ukraine?" he said.

"Republicans and Democrats in the Senate came together to send a message of unity to the world. It's time for the House Republicans to do the same thing to pass this bill immediately," added Biden.


The U.S. Senate approved a $95.34 billion assistance plan Tuesday for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. It passed by a vote of 70 - 29, surpassing the required 60-vote threshold required in recent years for approval, but the House of Representatives approval is far from certain.

Twenty-two Republicans sided with the majority of Democrats in endorsing the legislation.

The measure includes $60 billion in funding for Ukraine, with $14 billion to support Israel and U.S. military operations in the region, and more than $8 billion to support U.S. partners in the Indo-Pacific region, including Taiwan.

It would also allow nearly $10 billion for humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, Israel and Gaza.