Biden Urges House Republicans to Take Up National Security Bill

Biden Urges House Republicans to Take Up National Security Bill

REUTERS/Leah Millis

President Joe Biden on Friday slammed House Republicans for sitting on a $95.3 billion national security bill passed by the Senate and called on them to deliver urgently needed aid to Ukraine.

“Let me be clear: The House of Representatives must pass the bipartisan national security bill,” Biden told a meeting of state governors at the White House. “The bill provides urgent funding for Ukraine and it passed overwhelmingly in the Senate and there’s no question — none, none — if the speaker called for a vote in the House, it would pass easily today. Instead, they went on vacation.”

Warning that “history is watching,” Biden noted that Russia is on the offensive in Ukraine once again, taking territory for the first time in months. “But here in America, the speaker gave the House a two-week vacation,” Biden said. “They have to come back. They have to come back and get this done. His failure to support Ukraine in this critical moment will never be forgotten in history. It will be measured, and it will have impact for decades to come.”

Biden also called on Republicans to work with him to address the crisis on the border with Mexico. Biden said the immigration system at the border is underfunded and in need of repair. “Over time, our laws and our resources haven’t kept up with our system and it’s broken,” he said. “And our politics has failed to fix it.”

Biden called a bipartisan deal that was brokered in the Senate but rejected by Republicans the “strongest border deal the country has ever seen.” He called on the governors to help him apply some political pressure to pass that deal, which includes money for states dealing with increased immigration. “If this matters to you, matters to your state, tell your members of Congress that are standing in the way, show a little spine,” Biden said. “Pass the bipartisan security bill, notwithstanding you may reap the wrath of one or more of your colleagues.”