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Congressional Support For Biden's Ukraine Aid Package Request

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President Joe Biden claimed Congressional support for his $33 billion supplemental budget request to provide security, economic, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine battling Russian invasion.

"I am pleased that, in my conversations with Congressional leaders, there appears to be strong support for the proposal I submitted, and Congress is likely to pass it in substantially the form I proposed," Biden said in a statement released by the White House Monday.

Biden urged Congress to approve the Ukrainian Supplemental funding bill immediately.

The President had earlier recommended that Congress take overdue action on much needed funding for COVID treatments, vaccines and tests, as part of the Ukraine Supplemental bill. But Congressional leaders in both parties informed him that such an addition would slow down action on the urgently needed Ukrainian aid - a view expressed strongly by several Congressional Republicans.

Biden said since his administration cannot afford delay in this vital war effort, he is prepared to accept that these two measures move separately, "So that the Ukrainian aid bill can get to my desk right away."

Out of the record aid package, $20 billion is aimed at providing military and other security assistance to keep weapons and ammunition flowing to the Ukrainian people. This includes $5 billion in additional drawdown authority, $6 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, and $4 billion for the State Department's Foreign Military Financing program.

However, Biden reminded that as vital as it is to help Ukraine combat Russian aggression, it is equally vital to help Americans combat Covid.

He warned that without timely Covid funding, more Americans will die needlessly. "We will lose our place in line for America to order new COVID treatments and vaccines for the fall, including next-generation vaccines under development, and be unable to maintain our supply of Covid tests. In the fall, if we are hit by new variants, it will be too late to get the tools needed for protection - critical treatments that will be available in Europe, but not the United States," he added.

He urged Congress "to move promptly" on the Covid funding bill.

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