“Close to criminal neglect”: Biden calls on Congress to secure Ukraine aid
The big picture: Biden used the meeting to pressure GOP lawmakers, calling on Congress to pass a national security spending package with aid to Ukraine, saying a failure to do so would be "close to criminal neglect."
Between the lines: There are bipartisan concerns that if the U.S. does not manage to secure additional funding, Ukraine could face defeat at the hands of Russian forces in the coming months.
- Lawmakers in both chambers of Congress are searching desperately for alternate routes to pass aid to Ukraine and Israel after the implosion of the House's Israel bill and the Senate's national security package, Axios' Andrew Solender writes.
What they're saying: Biden said House members are reluctant to include funding for Ukraine "and to help them continue to be able to defend themselves against the brutal aggression of Russia."
- "The failure of the United States Congress, if it occurs, not to support Ukraine, is close to criminal neglect," Biden said, adding, "It is outrageous."
- Scholz, for his part, said, "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."
Zoom out: Ahead of his White House meeting, Scholz warned in the Wall Street Journal that the costs of allowing Ukraine to fall would "dwarf any of the investments that we are making now."