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US: Biden Offers Support To Johnson's Bill For Israel And Ukraine, Calls For Vote This Week

07:39 AM Apr 18, 2024 IST | NEWS Desk
us  biden offers support to johnson s bill for israel and ukraine  calls for vote this week
US: Biden Offers Support To Johnson's Bill For Israel And Ukraine, Calls For Vote This Week

Washington, DC [US]: US President Joe Biden has offered support to US House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson's proposal for three separate bills providing US aid to Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific, The Hill reported.

Biden also urged the passage of the bill this week.

In a statement, Biden said, "The House must pass the package this week and the Senate should quickly follow. I will sign this into law immediately to send a message to the world: We stand with our friends, and we won't let Iran or Russia succeed," The Hill reported.

Biden said that he strongly supports this package to offer critical support to Israel as well as Ukraine, provide desperately needed humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza and bolster security in the Indo-Pacific.

In the statement, he stated, "I strongly support this package to get critical support to Israel and Ukraine, provide desperately needed humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza, and bolster security and stability in the Indo-Pacific.

Israel is facing unprecedented attacks from Iran, and Ukraine is facing continued bombardment from Russia that has intensified dramatically in the last month."

The US President's support for the bills gave a green signal to Democratic lawmakers to join Republicans in voting in favour of the foreign aid bills. On Wednesday, Mike Johnson unveiled the text for three bills that would combine military assistance to Ukraine, Israel and allies in the Indo-Pacific with humanitarian aid for Gaza and other global hot spots.

The three bills are part of his plan for moving foreign aid through the House, a process that has been delayed for months amid other pressing priorities and stalled this week as his initial proposal faced criticism from the right flank. However, Mike Johnson vowed to move forward with his proposal, rejecting the outrage from his right flank.

In a text message to GOP lawmakers on Wednesday morning, Johnson said that he also plans to unveil text for a fourth bill that includes other national security priorities, according to The Hill report. That proposal will include a ban on TikTok, a provision to help pay for aid by using seized Russian assets, sanctions and other steps to combat Russia, China and Iran.

Johnson noted that these four measures will move under one procedural rule that will allow for an amendment process. However, in Johnson's initial plan, the outline of which he unveiled on Monday, the US House Speaker said he would move a border security measure separate from the foreign aid bills, a move meant to appease conservatives who were up in arms that the priority was at first excluded.

That legislation will include "core components" from H.R. 2, the border security bill House Republicans approved in 2023. Johnson said he is eyeing a Saturday evening vote on the foreign aid legislation, The Hill reported.

In a text message sent to lawmakers before the legislation was made public, Mike Johnson wrote, "By posting text of these bills as soon as they are completed, we will ensure time for a robust amendment process.

We expect the vote on final passage of these bills to be on Saturday evening. Thank you all for your feedback and support. I value every member of this conference and look forward to continuing our work together."

In his remarks in a press gaggle on Tuesday, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said that the Biden administration will look at the Speaker's proposal before deciding whether to support the bills or not.

On being asked whether the Biden administration will support four bills which are being suggested by US House Speaker Mike Johnson, Kirby said, "We're going to wait and pass judgement after we've had a chance to take a look closer at the Speaker's proposal.

The important thing is that our allies, like Ukraine and Israel, who are under the gun, literally, under the gun, get the security assistance they need as quickly as possible. So, we want them to move this week."

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