Biden asks Congress to support urgent defense packages for Ukraine, Israel

Washington, Oct 19 (EFE).- United States President Joe Biden on Thursday urged Congress, in a rare televised address, to pass an “urgent” budget request for support to Israel and Ukraine, which he described as “vital” for America’s national security.

“American alliances are what keep us, America, safe. American values are what make us a partner nations want to work with. To put all that at risk if we walk away from Ukraine or if we turn our backs on Israel – it’s just not worth it,” Biden said in a speech nationally broadcast from the Oval Office, citing the reason for sending his urgent budget request to Congress on Friday.

“It’s a smart investment that’s going pay dividends for American security for generations,” he added.

According to the American press, Biden’s request will cost around $100 billion and will include $60 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel, $14 billion for the US border as well as money for Taiwan and humanitarian aid.

“[It will] help us keep American troops out of harm’s way. Help us build a world that is safer, more peaceful and more prosperous for our children and grandchildren,” Biden said, showing his clear objective of mobilizing public opinion to put pressure on Congress, which is united in the need to support Israel, but divided in support for Ukraine.

“In Israel we must make sure they have what they need to protect their people today and always,” he continued, and therefore Friday’s request to Congress will represent “an unprecedented commitment to Israel’s security that will sharpen Israel’s qualitative military edge.”

“We’re going to make sure Iron Dome continues to guard the skies over Israel. We’re going to make sure other hostile actors in the region know that Israel is stronger than ever and prevent this conflict from spreading,” he said.

Referencing the US’ response to 9/11, the president also cautioned Israel.

“America experienced the hell of 9/11, we felt enraged as well, and while we sought and got justice, we made mistakes. So I caution the government of Israel not to be blinded by rage.”

Biden also asked Congress to continue providing aid to Ukraine, to “stop Putin’s brutality.”

The US is “the essential nation” for Ukraine’s defense, said Biden, who added that he will not send American troops to fight in Ukraine. He did not speak on sending troops to Israel.

In the US Congress, both Democrats and Republicans support Israel and have expressed willingness to provide it with more military aid.

However, while most Democrats are united in their support for Kyiv, Republicans are divided.

Specifically, the majority of Republicans in the Senate, especially their leader, Mitch McConnell, agree with continued support for Ukraine in the face of Russia.

However, the most conservative Trump-aligned wing of the Republican Party opposes this idea and, at the end of September, already used its influence in the Lower House to block the approval of more aid to Ukraine.

“I know we have our divisions at home. We have to get past them. We can’t let petty, partisan, angry politics get in the way of our responsibilities as a great nation,” Biden said.

“We cannot and will not let terrorists like Hamas and tyrants like Putin win. I refuse to let that happen.”

In this context, the Republicans continue without a leader in the House of Representatives, where they have a majority. There is no clear option to replace Paul McCarthy after the most conservative wing of the Republican Party removed him on Oct. 3.

Faced with this situation, Biden is linking aid to Israel, which has broad support in both parties, with aid to Ukraine in an attempt to overcome the blockade that it has encountered due to the opposition of the pro-Trump House Republicans.

His address lasted about 15 minutes and was broadcast live on the country’s main television networks.

Related Articles

Back to top button