President Biden on Tuesday denounced former President Donald J. Trump for encouraging Russia to attack some NATO allies, calling the comments “silly,” “shameful,” “dangerous” and “un-American” while imploring Republicans to the House of Representatives to challenge their supposed candidate. and approve new security aid for Ukraine and Israel.
In a televised statement, Biden said a $95 billion spending package approved earlier that day in a bipartisan vote in the Senate was imperative to help defeat President Vladimir V. Putin's Russia's “vicious attack” on Ukraine. And he linked the legislative debate to Trump's campaign speech that sided with Moscow against European allies he considered “criminals.”
“You can imagine?” Biden told reporters at the White House. “A former president of the United States saying that? The whole world heard it. And the worst thing is that he means it. No other president in our history has ever bowed to a Russian dictator. Let me say this as clearly as I can; I will never do it. For God's sake, it's dumb, it's shameful, it's dangerous, it's un-American.”
Trump, who has long expressed admiration for Putin and derision of NATO and Ukraine, boasted at a campaign rally over the weekend that he had warned NATO allies not to spend enough on their own militaries. that he would not go to their respective countries. he defends if Russia were to attack them despite Article 5 of the alliance's charter requiring members to help each other in the event of an outside attack. Not only would it not help them, Trump said, but it would “encourage” Russia to “do whatever it wanted” against them.
Biden's statement Tuesday came hours after the Senate passed the security relief legislation by a vote of 70-29, with 22 Republicans joining nearly all Democrats in supporting the funding. The package includes $60.1 billion for Ukraine, $14.1 billion for Israel and $9.2 billion for humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza, Ukraine and other conflict zones.
However, President Mike Johnson has promised not to allow a floor vote without including hardline policies against illegal immigration. “Absent any changes to border policy from the Senate, the House will have to continue working on its own accord on these important issues,” he said Monday night.
But Johnson, under pressure from Trump, who has said he does not want to give Biden a political victory, has already rejected a bipartisan border bill negotiated by a conservative Republican senator with his Democratic and independent counterparts. The likelihood of reaching a consensus on a tougher package that would be acceptable to both Trump and enough Democrats to pass it in the Senate seems unlikely, if not impossible.
As a result, aid to Ukraine and Israel remains hostage to a domestic political dispute with no likely resolution in the near future. Previously approved military aid for Ukraine in its attempt to expel Russian invaders from its eastern territories has already been exhausted, while Israel needs replenishment after four months of military operations in response to the October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas. .
The legislation also includes nearly $5 billion for Taiwan and other Indo-Pacific allies concerned about China's aggressive foreign policy, a priority for both sides.
Last week, Johnson attempted to pass a bill providing only aid to Israel, but fell short of the two-thirds vote he needed for the parliamentary maneuver amid a threatened veto from Biden, who opposed it. separate the package and leave out Ukraine. .
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