Biden Calls on House to Prioritize Ukraine Over Trump and Putin

President Joe Biden urged the House on Tuesday to pass vital war aid for Ukraine, saying history would judge them if they chose Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump over the cause of democracy.

“History is watching,” said Biden, repeating the phrase five times in televised remarks from the White House after the Senate passed a bill that Republicans in the House look likely to block.

“Supporting this bill is standing up to Putin. Opposing it is playing into Putin’s hands,” the Democrat added.

Biden, 81, also lashed out at his likely Republican election rival Trump after the former one-term president encouraged Russia to attack NATO members who failed to meet financial commitments.

“For God’s sake, it’s dumb. It’s shameful. It’s dangerous. It’s un-American,” Biden said, saying that Trump viewed the Western military alliance as a “protection racket.”

“No other president in our history has ever bowed down to a Russian dictator.”

Biden’s appeal came just hours after the Senate finally approved a $95 billion security package for democratic, pro-Western Ukraine, as well as for the top US strategic priorities of Israel and Taiwan.

Right-wing House Speaker Mike Johnson has indicated he will heed Trump’s call and not even allow the Senate bill to come to a vote in the lower chamber, where Republicans have a narrow majority.

– ‘Bullies like Putin’ –

U.S. aid to Ukraine has been paralyzed for months by chaos in Congress, even as Kyiv begs for help to counter increased Russian attacks as Putin’s invasion nears its third year.

The $95 billion package includes funding for Israel’s military and democratic island Taiwan, but the lion’s share — $60 billion — would help Ukraine restock depleted ammunition supplies, weapons and other crucial needs.

It passed easily in the Senate when enough Republicans defied Trump’s behind-the-scenes maneuvers to join Democrats in preserving what has been one of Biden’s priorities as president — leading the Western response to the Russian invasion.

The bill is a stripped down version of a similar one that Senate Republicans voted down last week.

Democrats had agreed to Republican demands to include measures on fighting illegal immigration in that earlier bill, but Johnson declared it would be dead on arrival in the House and the Senate vote then failed.

Johnson has now changed course again, saying that the security aid bill passed in the Senate won’t be approved by the House without once more adding funding to tackle the migrant crisis on the southern border with Mexico.

Senator Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Senate where Democrats have a razor-thin majority, said “the responsibility now falls on Speaker Johnson.”

“History is looking upon the United States and seeing if we will stand up for our values, stand up to bullies like Putin,” he said.

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