United States President Joe Biden, on Tuesday (Feb 6) called out Republicans in Congress and warned that if it fails to renew funding for Ukraine it will play into the Kremlin’s hands and accused his predecessor Donald Trump of playing politics with US security.
‘Clock is ticking’
The “clock is ticking” for Ukraine amid its ongoing war with Russia, Biden warned while calling out Trump for pressuring Republican lawmakers not to pass a $118 billion bill, which includes aid for both Israel and Ukraine but is tied with strict US immigration curbs, demanded by the Republicans.
“We can’t walk away now. That’s what (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s betting on,” Biden said at the White House. “Supporting this bill is standing up to Putin. Opposing this bill is playing into his hands.”
‘Show some spine’
“All indications are this bill won’t even move forward to the Senate floor. Why? The simple reason: Donald Trump,” said the US president. He added, “Because Donald Trump thinks it’s bad for him politically.”
Concerns over the handling of immigration have become a top issue ahead of the presidential election this year. The Biden administration has witnessed a record number of migrants trying to illegally cross the US-Mexico border, with a reported more than 9,500 per day, in December.
Meanwhile, Trump has reportedly told Republicans to reject the bipartisan border security deal unveiled on Sunday (Feb 4).
The $118 billion bill is losing support on Capitol Hill with more than 20 Republican senators saying that the immigration-related measures are not strict enough. On the other hand, some Democrats have also opposed the bill because they say some of its measures treat migrants too harshly.
The immigration portion of the bill included the “toughest set of reforms to secure the border ever,” said Biden.
The US president also went on to blame Republicans for buckling under the pressure from Trump who has been reaching out to lawmakers to “intimidate them to vote against this proposal.” He added, “And it looks like they’re caving.”
“Frankly, they owe it to the American people to show some spine and do what they know to be right,” said Biden.
Trump has been ramping up attacks on the bill for weeks, going as far as attacking his own party’s leadership as they are trying to reach a compromise on the border issue which will also help unlock aid for Ukraine.
“Don’t be STUPID!!! We need a separate Border and Immigration Bill. It should not be tied to foreign aid in any way, shape, or form!” said Trump on his social media platform Truth Social.
(With inputs from agencies)