Feb 13, 2024 - Politics & Policy

"History is watching": Biden urges House GOP to pass Ukraine, Israel aid


President Biden at the White House on Feb. 13. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday doubled down his calls to House Republicans to pass a $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific.

The big picture: The pressure comes after the Senate passed the package earlier Tuesday, despite a divided Republican party and opposition from former President Trump, Senate conservatives and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.).

  • "For Republicans in Congress who think they can oppose funding for Ukraine and not be held accountable, history is watching," Biden said in a briefing at the White House Tuesday.

Driving the news: Biden urged Johnson, who has indicated he will not bring the bill to the House floor, to "immediately" call it to a vote.

  • "There's no question that if a Senate bill was put on the floor in the House of Representatives, it would pass," Biden said, adding, "The speaker knows that."
  • The president called on Johnson not to let "a minority of the most extreme voices in the House" dictate the decision.

Biden also accused Trump of cowering to Russian President Vladimir Putin and setting a "dangerous" and shockingly "un-American signal to the world" with recent comments on NATO.

  • Trump, the GOP presidential frontrunner, at a campaign rally over the weekend claimed he told the president of an unidentified NATO member that he would "encourage" Russia "to do whatever the hell they want" to that NATO nation if it were behind on its defense obligations.

Context: The bill's opponents took to the floor Monday and into the early hours Tuesday — filibustering and arguing against sending additional aid to Ukraine.

  • Many argued the priority should be securing the U.S.-Mexico border.

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