Biden Insists Aid to Ukraine Must Continue

Schumer and McConnell say they'll work on it, but McCarthy says border is more pressing
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2023 5:10 PM CDT
Biden Insists Aid to Ukraine Must Continue
President Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

After signing a government funding bill that excluded aid to Ukraine, President Biden assured the US—and its allies—on Sunday that financial and military assistance to fight off the Russian invasion will not be cut off. "We cannot under any circumstances allow American support for Ukraine to be interrupted," Biden said in remarks delivered from the White House, putting pressure on congressional Republicans, among whom support for the aid has shown signs of fading lately. "I can't believe those who voted for supporting Ukraine—overwhelming majority in the House and Senate, Democrat and Republican—will for pure political reasons let more people die needlessly in Ukraine," Biden said. He also stressed urgency, the AP reports, with the bill only covering government expenses until mid-November. Global reaction on the issue included:

  • Ukraine's confidence: Support for the war effort "remains intact" in the White House and Congress, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said, per the Washington Post. With a shutdown avoided, "there is no threat to the supply of previously approved weapons and equipment," Ukraine's ambassador to the US posted. In a reference to congressional posturing, a lawmaker in Ukraine said, "We do understand very well that the election process in the United States has begun."
  • Congressional plans: Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and Republican leader Mitch McConnell issued a joint statement saying they'll work together to ensure the aid continues, per Yahoo News. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told CBS' Face on the Nation that he supports supplying arms to Ukraine but considers security at the US-Mexico border a higher priority. "So we've got to find a way that we can do this together," he said.
  • Third parties: The European Union's foreign policy chief expressed concern about the Saturday vote. "I have a hope that this will not be definitive decision and Ukraine will continue having the support of the US," Josep Borrell said. Voters in one of Ukraine's neighbors delivered a blow to aid on Sunday, when former Prime Minister Robert Fico's party won big in Slovakia's parliamentary elections. Fico had promised to end his nation's military support for Ukraine if he returned to power, per the AP. "People in Slovakia have bigger problems than Ukraine," he said.
(Read more President Biden stories.)

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