President Biden has invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to meet with him on Tuesday, the White House announced Sunday.
The meeting will take place just days after a Democratic bill with billions in aid for Ukraine and Israel failed to clear the Senate, caught up in a debate over U.S. immigration policy and border security.
Mr. Biden chided GOP lawmakers for their opposition to the package, saying that Republicans are willing to give Russian President Vladimir Putin “the greatest gift” if they don’t pass additional funding.
“Cutting off the flow of U.S. weapons and equipment will kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield,” U.S. Office of Management and Budget head Shalanda Young wrote in a Monday letter to House and Senate leaders.
“I want to be clear: without congressional action, by the end of the year we will run out of resources to procure more weapons and equipment for Ukraine and to provide equipment from U.S. military stocks,” Young wrote. “There is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment. We are out of money—and nearly out of time.”
Zelenskyy had planned to address American lawmakers last week, but he canceled at the last moment. Before the change of plans, Sen. Chuck Schumer noted it would have been the third time Zelenskyy had addressed senators since Russia invaded Ukraine.
“The last time he spoke to us, his message was direct and unsparing,” Schumer said. “Without more aid from Congress, Ukraine does not have the means to defeat Vladimir Putin. Without more aid from Congress, Ukraine may fall.”
This week’s meeting at the White House is to “underscore the United States’ unshakeable commitment to supporting the people of Ukraine as they defend themselves against Russia’s brutal invasion,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
“As Russia ramps up its missile and drone strikes against Ukraine, the leaders will discuss Ukraine’s urgent needs and the vital importance of the United States’ continued support at this critical moment,” Jean-Pierre added.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday announced a $175 million package of military aid to Ukraine. The aid package includes air defense munitions, additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rockets Systems and artillery ammunition.
“Unless Congress acts to pass the President’s national security supplemental funding request, this will be one of the last security assistance packages we can provide to Ukraine,” Blinken said, urging Congress to “act immediately.”
Aliza Chasan is a digital producer at 60 Minutes and CBSNews.com. She has previously written for outlets including PIX11 News, The New York Daily News, Inside Edition and DNAinfo. Aliza covers trending news, often focusing on crime and politics.
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