Biden lashes out at House speaker over $95 foreign aid package

 February 17, 2024

Tuesday saw the Senate pass a controversial foreign aid package that extends $60 billion worth of support for Ukraine along with a combined $35 billion in assistance to Israel and Taiwan.

However, House Republicans have made clear that the bill has no chance of moving forward as it is currently written, a fact which has put President Joe Biden on the warpath. 

Biden says "it's about time" that Republicans in Congress "step up"

According to the BBC, the president lashed out at House Speaker Mike Johnson during a White House press conference on Friday.

"I won't say panic, but there is a real concern about the United States being a reliable ally," Biden was quoted as telling reporters.

The president expressed particular outrage over how lawmakers had decided to go on recess before taking up the $95 billion piece of legislation.

"It's about time they step up, don't you think? Sitting on a two week vacation? What are they thinking. My God, it's bizarre," the president asserted angrily.

Johnson points out that "national security begins at our own border"

For his part, Johnson said last Monday that the bill will not go forward unless it does something to address the ongoing migrant crisis along America's southern border.

"House Republicans were crystal clear from the very beginning of discussions that any so-called national security supplemental legislation must recognize that national security begins at our own border," The Hill quoted a statement from Johnson as declaring.

"[In] the absence of having received any single border policy change from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own will on these important matters," he asserted.

The House speaker went on to declare that "America deserves better than the Senate’s status quo" while complaining of how "the Senate has failed to meet the moment."

Johnson addresses bill in remarks on death of Russian political dissident

The BBC reported that Johnson also mentioned the Senate foreign aid bill in a statement put out regarding the death of imprisoned Russian political activist Alexei Navalny.

The speaker pledged that Congress will "debate the best way forward to support Ukraine," stressing, "We must be clear that Putin will be met with united opposition."

Navalny was serving a 30 ½-year prison sentence at an Arctic facility on fraud and extremism that supporters say were trumped up.

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