Biden Angry With GOP for Breaking for the Rest of December

( – President Joe Biden began pressuring Congress in early December to pass his requested National Security supplement, including funding to support Ukraine and Israel. Yet, Republicans pushed back, demanding substantial border security policy changes before they would consider passing the foreign aid package. On Wednesday, the president posted an angry tweet on X, formerly Twitter, complaining that House Republicans were leaving town for the holidays without passing aid for allies or addressing the border security measures the administration has offered.

However, Senate Republicans stayed and continued working through the weekend to negotiate a compromise. On December 14, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told reporters the parties had made “significant progress” and would work through the weekend to build “a framework agreement.”

Echoing Biden’s sentiments, Schumer remarked that the world and Russian President Vladimir Putin were watching. On the same day, Putin issued a statement saying peace is contingent on Russia achieving its goals — including annexing Ukraine because it sees Ukrainians as one with Russia and demilitarizing and deNazifying the smaller nation.

In a December 14 White House briefing, John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesperson, said he hoped House GOP members who had held critical assistance hostage for months “heard Putin’s message loud and clear.” But he noted that House Republicans were heading “home for the holidays” even as Ukrainians returned to the fight. He rebuked lawmakers, telling them Ukrainian allies needed our assistance immediately, “not after the eggnog.”

Before leaving for the three-week break, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), an $886 billion defense bill that has gone to the President’s desk for a signature. The bill includes $800 million to support Ukraine in its battle against Russia, $11.5 billion to deter China in the Indo-Pacific region, and a 5.2% pay hike for troops, among other provisions.

Yet, Biden’s National Security supplement requests an additional $110 billion for Ukraine and Israel. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said Republicans “cannot claim to address major national security challenges” without dealing with one of the nation’s biggest security issues at the Southern border.

He said Senate GOP members had worked diligently to suggest substantive policy changes without simply “throwing money at the problem.” However, he seemed to agree with Schumer that both sides of the aisle were making headway.

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