Biden chides Republicans, fails to mention border in remarks on spending bill

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President Biden failed to mention the U.S. southern border crisis as he chided House Republicans on Tuesday, calling on party leaders to put forward the bipartisan national security bill that was passed earlier in the day by the Senate with a 70-29 vote.

On Tuesday morning, the Senate passed a $95 billion national security supplemental package to assist Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific. What the package omitted, though, was any border security provisions.

When Biden approached reporters on Tuesday afternoon to give statements on the supplemental package, he bluntly told reporters he would not be taking questions in an effort to stay on track and not let anything get in the way of his statement – the president also said he would take questions tomorrow or the next day.

In his remarks, Biden urged House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., to immediately bring the bill to the floor, saying, “there’s no question that if the Senate bill was put on the floor in the House of Representatives, it would pass.”

SENATE PASSES CONTROVERSIAL FOREIGN AID BILL SENDING BILLIONS TO UKRAINE, ISRAEL AND TAIWAN

President Biden speaks on the Senate’s recent passage of the National Security Supplemental Bill, which provides military aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 13, 2024, in Washington, DC. During his remarks Biden urged House Republicans and U.S. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) to move the legislation through the House of Representatives. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

“I call on the speaker to let the full House speak its mind, and not allow a minority of the most extreme voices in the House to block this bill, even from being voted on,” Biden said, stressing how critical the bill was.

As the national debt soars above $34 trillion, calls to offset the spending with cuts in other places went unheeded.

The package includes $60 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel, $9 billion in humanitarian assistance for Gaza and nearly $5 billion for the Indo-Pacific. It was put forward by Democrats after Republicans blocked the $118 billion package that included numerous border and immigration provisions, which were negotiated by a group of bipartisan senators and Biden officials.

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Police officers in Ukraine

In this photo provided by the National Police of Ukraine, a police officer and a rescue worker walk in front of a restaurant RIA Pizza destroyed by a Russian attack in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 27, 2023. (National Police of Ukraine via AP)

Biden said the bill sends military equipment to Ukraine, but is being spent in the U.S., where the weapons are being built.

“The way it works is we supply Ukraine with military equipment from our stockpiles, and now we spend our money replenishing those stockpiles,” he said. “So, our military has access to the stockpiles that are made right here in America by American workers.”

He went on to say the bill meets national security priorities in the Middle East, too, and provides support to troops serving in the region who defend against militia attacks backed by Iran.

SENATE REPUBLICANS PREPARE FOR LONG HAUL IN FIGHT OVER UKRAINE, ISRAEL AID

Houthi militants stomping on US, UK flags

Houthi fighters walk over British and U.S flags at a rally in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and the recent Houthi strikes on shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden on February 4, 2024, on the outskirts of Sana’a, Yemen. (Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images)

Also benefiting will be the Palestinian people, as the humanitarian aid included in the package will provide food, water and shelter, Biden noted.

As for funding national security priorities in Asia, Biden said, the U.S. must not take its eye off national security challenges in the region while it focuses on conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine.

PENTAGON FINALLY RUNS OUT OF MONEY FOR UKRAINE, URGES 50 ALLIES TO CONTINUE SUPPORTING KYIV

US House Speaker Mike Johnson speaking

US House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, speaks during a news conference at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Biden said the U.S. is at a point in history where decisions made now will determine the course of action for decades to come and called on House Republicans to decide.

“Supporting this bill is standing up to Putin. Opposing it is playing into Putin’s hands. As I’ve said before, the stakes in this fight extend far beyond Ukraine,” Biden said. “For Republicans in Congress who think they can oppose funding for Ukraine and not be held accountable. History is watching. History is watching. History is watching. The failure to support Ukraine at this critical moment will never be forgotten.”

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In recent weeks, as negotiators were nearing a deal, Republicans became skeptical of the bipartisan talks, arguing that Biden already has the resources to address the situation at the border and does not need new legislation. Some Republicans have also suggested that they do not want to support the border bill and give Biden a political win in an election year.

Fox News Digital’s Landon Mion contributed to this report.



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