Biden calls on Congress to pass Ukraine aid: ‘We can’t let Putin win’

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President Joe Biden on Wednesday said he is willing to make “significant compromises” on border policy in exchange for funding for Ukraine and Israel.

“We need to fix the broken border system — it is broken,” Biden said from the White House ahead of a Senate procedural vote on his national security supplemental that Republicans plan to filibuster over a dispute on immigration policy. “Thus far, I’ve got no response.”

The president tried to elevate the stakes of the vote on his $106 billion supplemental spending plan, warning that a failure would send a dire message to Ukraine and European allies about the level of U.S. support for the embattled country.

“We can’t let [Russian President Vladimir] Putin win. It’s in our overwhelming national interest, in the international interest of all our friends,” he said.

Weeks ago, Republicans insisted on border policy changes in exchange for backing Ukraine and Israel funding, which many of them support.

“It’s take everything we have here — their one proposal, which is extreme — or nothing,” Biden said. “They walked away.”

Progressives Democrats, including members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, have strongly resisted giving away border policy — such as making it harder for migrants to claim asylum or easier for a future president to close the border — in exchange for Biden’s foreign policy agenda.

Biden did not say how the administration or congressional Democrats would proceed once the Senate vote was held, except that he would likely address reporters afterward: “We’ll know where we go from there.”

Republicans have framed their expected opposition Wednesday as a message to express how serious they are about addressing what they call a crisis at the U.S. border. Biden dismissed the effort as “playing chicken with our national security.”

Biden warned that if Congress doesn’t defend Ukraine now, the United States risked having to put boots on the ground if Putin invades a NATO country.

“If Putin takes Ukraine, he won’t stop there,” Biden said. “If “Putin attacks a NATO ally — if he keeps going and then he attacks a NATO ally — we’ve committed as a NATO member to defend every inch of NATO territory, and we’ll have something that we don’t seek and that we don’t have today.”

Biden's remarks reflect his latest warning to get his emergency funding request for Ukraine across the finish line. On Monday, White House budget chief Shalanda Young sent congressional leaders a letter warning that inaction before the end of the year on funding threatens to “kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield.”