- President Joe Biden returned to the White House on Monday morning.
- He said he was willing to meet with the House speaker to discuss the Ukraine package.
- The way Republicans were moving away from Russia was “shocking,” he added.
President Joe Biden on Monday criticized Republicans for not approving more aid for Ukraine and said he hoped the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny would spur them to act.
The Senate approved a $95 billion aid package that includes funds for Ukraine, but House Speaker Mike Johnson refuses to vote on it and demands a meeting with Biden.
“I’m sure I would be happy to meet with him, if he has anything to say,” the president said upon returning to the White House after a weekend in Delaware.
The issue has taken on greater intensity in recent days after one of President Vladimir Putin’s leading critics died in a Russian prison.
Reporters asked Biden if Republicans had blood on their hands if they didn’t pass the bill.
President Joe Biden (R) said he was willing to meet with House Speaker Mike Johnson “if he has something to say,” as Republicans continue to block a new aid package for Ukraine.
The need for action has only intensified after prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny died in prison on Friday. Flowers are laid in his memory near the Russian embassy in Paris
“I wouldn’t use that term, but they’re making a big mistake by not responding,” he said.
‘The way they are moving away from the threat of Russia, the way they are moving away from NATO. The way they are moving away from fulfilling our obligations. It’s just shocking…
“I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Last week, former President Donald Trump sparked outrage and alarm among U.S. allies by suggesting he would be unwilling to defend NATO members that fail to meet their spending commitments. He even suggested that he would encourage attacks against them.
On Monday, Trump finally responded to Navalny’s death, but only to compare himself to the brave Russian dissident.
“The sudden death of Alexei Navalny has made me increasingly aware of what is happening in our country,” Trump posted on his Truth Social platform.
“It is a slow and steady progression, with corrupt and radical left-wing politicians, prosecutors and judges leading us down the path of destruction.”
Biden also said he was considering imposing new sanctions on Russia over Navalny’s death.
“We already have sanctions, but we are considering additional sanctions, yes,” he said.
Biden spoke to reporters as he returned to the White House on Monday morning.
Biden said he was considering additional sanctions on Russia over Navalny’s death
An aerial view of the destroyed buildings of Avdiivka on February 15, 2023. Almost all buildings in the city have been damaged or destroyed, according to the Center for Information Resilience. Ukraine left the city on Saturday under intense Russian pressure
Republicans broadly maintain that the war in Ukraine is unwinnable. So why send more money?
Before the Senate vote last week, Republican Senator Ron Johnson described Putin as “evil,” before concluding: “Vladimir Putin will not lose this war.”
Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to ask for more help.
His forces were forced to withdraw from the captured city of Avdiivka, a strategic center in the east of the country.
The White House said this was due to a lack of ammunition, which it attributed to congressional gridlock.
“This morning, the Ukrainian army was forced to withdraw from Avdiivka after Ukrainian soldiers had to ration ammunition due to dwindling supplies as a result of congressional inaction, resulting in Russia’s first notable advances in months,” he said after Biden called Ukrainian Volodomyr Zelensky.