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Biden argues it’s ‘close to criminal neglect’ for Congress not to pass Ukraine aid bill

biden-argues-it’s-‘close-to-criminal-neglect’-for-congress-not-to-pass-ukraine-aid-bill
Biden argues it’s ‘close to criminal neglect’ for Congress not to pass Ukraine aid bill

President Biden declared Friday that it would be “close to criminal neglect” for Congress not to pass billions of dollars in additional military aid to Ukraine. 

The president made the remark to reporters during an Oval Office meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and as Senators prepared for a weekend session to debate a $95 billion bill providing aid to Israel, Taiwan and war-torn Ukraine. 

“The failure of the United States Congress, if it occurs, not to support Ukraine, is close to criminal neglect,” Biden, 81, said. “It is outrageous.”

“Without the support of United States, and without the support of the European states, Ukraine will have not a chance to defend its own country,” Scholz said, backing Biden. 

Some Republicans on Capitol Hill, however, argue that the US can’t afford to keep funding Ukraine’s war effort, especially when the US is grappling with a border crisis of its own. 

“I would say it’s criminal neglect for Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden to get together to send $100 billion overseas to fix someone else’s border before addressing our border,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said during an appearance on Fox Business.  

President Biden said it would be

President Biden said it would be “criminal neglect” if Congress doesn’t pass billions of dollars in military aid for Ukraine, on Friday. AP

President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz meet in the Oval Office.

Biden’s comments came during his meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday. Julia Nikhinson – Pool via CNP / MEGA

“I meet no one in Kentucky, no conservatives across the land that are for this, but the leadership of the Senate under Mitch McConnell is more concerned with sending your money to Ukraine than they are with the invasion of the southern border,” the Kentucky Republican added. 

Paul vowed to do “everything in my power to slow down and stop” the Ukraine aid bill. 

“The money has to be borrowed. We don’t have 100 billion sitting around,” he argued. 

The Senate’s consideration of the $95 billion foreign aid bill comes after the implosion of a bipartisan package that would’ve tied Ukraine aid to enhanced border security measures, which Republicans argued didn’t go far enough, and the defeat of a standalone Israel aid bill in the House earlier this week.  

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is in a hallway escorted by Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer in Washington DC.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer during a visit to DC in December. AP

Some congressional republicans like Senator Rand Paul have argued that the US can’t afford to keep funding Ukraine’s war effort.

Some congressional Republicans like Senator Rand Paul have argued that the US can’t afford to keep funding Ukraine’s war effort. REUTERS

The Senate voted 64-19 Friday to officially begin debate on the aid bill to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan. Only 14 Republicans voted in favor of bringing the measure up for debate. 

Senators will consider amendments to the bill Saturday, and the next vote on moving the legislation forward is slated to take place on Super Bowl Sunday. 

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