President Joe Biden pitched a massive $100 billion foreign aid package that includes $60 billion in assistance for Ukraine and $10 billion for Israel in a rare Oval Office address on Thursday. Biden compared the conflict in Ukraine to the American Revolution and urged Americans to support the war with the same zeal as the Second World War.
The president warned that failure to pass the package would create a scenario where “conflict and chaos could spread in other parts of the world.”
“Hamas and Putin represent different threats,” Biden said. “But they share this in common. They both want to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy.”
The president stated that he would be urging Congress to pass the aid package immediately, which includes roughly $100 billion in military and humanitarian assistance over the next year. Ukraine and Israel will be the primary beneficiaries of the package if it were to pass, though it also includes aid for Taiwan.
“It’s a smart investment that’s going to pay dividends for American security for generations,” Biden said.
He also took time to condemn Hamas and acts of Islamic extremism that have occurred in the wake of the terrorist attacks in southern Israel that have left more than 1,400 dead, but also urged Americans not to engage in “islamophobia” while invoking the years following the September 11 attacks.
“And I know many of you in the Muslim American community, Arab American community, the Palestinian American community, and so many others are outraged and hearty, saying to yourselves, ‘here we go again with Islamophobia and distrust we saw after 9-11.'” He then referenced a horrific murder of a child in Illinois that is believed to have been carried out in response to the attacks.
Biden concluded his rare address to the nation by comparing the conflict in Ukraine to the American Revolution. “Earlier this year, I boarded Air Force One for a secret flight to Poland. There I boarded a train of blacked-out windows for a 10-hour ride each way to Kiev to stand with the people of Ukraine ahead of the one-year anniversary of their brave fight against Putin. And I’m told I was the first American to enter a war zone not controlled by the United States military since President Lincoln,” the president stated.
“With me was just a small group of security personnel and a few advisors. But when I exited that train and met Zelensky, President Zelensky, I didn’t feel alone. I was bringing with me the idea of America, the promise of America, to the people who are today fighting for the same things we fought for 250 years ago,” he continued. “Freedom, independence, self-determination. As I walked through Kiev with President Zelensky, with air raid sirens sounding in the distance, I felt something I’ve always believed, more strongly than ever before. America is a beacon to the world.”
“Still, still, still.”
The aid package is expected to face opposition from a growing number of Republicans in both the House and Senate. A number of GOP lawmakers opposed to House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) have cited his opposition to a no-strings-attached aid package as a sticking point.
Jordan has called for the appointment of an inspector general to properly monitor the funds and has called on the Biden Administration to present a comprehensive plan.
The American public is also becoming increasingly disillusioned with continuing the current levels of military aid to Ukraine. According to a CNN poll conducted in August, 55 percent of respondents wanted a pause in all aid to Ukraine, representing a dramatic shift from February 2022, when 68 percent of those polled wanted funding to increase.