Biden Calls on Congress to Approve Aid to Ukraine: ‘This Cannot Wait’

President Biden called on Congress on Wednesday to put aside partisan differences and promptly pass a multibillion-dollar aid package for Ukraine, warning that failure to do so could enable President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to reclaim momentum in the war.

Efforts to resupply Ukraine as well as Israel appear at an impasse as Republicans insist on conditioning aid to immigration measures that Democrats oppose. A classified briefing for senators on Tuesday devolved into a partisan shouting match, and prospects for bipartisan consensus anytime soon seemed to fade as the Senate headed toward a vote on Wednesday.

“This cannot wait,” he said in a televised statement at the White House. “Congress needs to pass supplemental funding for Ukraine before they break for the holiday recess. Simple as that. Frankly, I think it’s stunning that we’ve gotten to this point in the first place. Republicans in Congress are willing to give Putin the greatest gift he can hope for and abandon our global leadership.”

The Biden administration has already alerted Congress that money for Ukraine will run out by the end of the year, leaving the embattled former Soviet republic vulnerable to a new Russian offensive. The White House has asked for an additional $61 billion in aid and said that blocking it would “make it easier for Putin to prevail,” as the president’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, put it this week.

Senate Republicans for the most part support more aid for Ukraine as well as additional security money for Israel. But they are insisting on including a crackdown on migration at the border as a condition, arguing that Americans want their own security to be guarded. Democrats have objected to some of the proposals that Republicans have advanced, calling them excessive and political.