The president pleaded with Congress to pass what’s expected to be $100 billion in new funding, which is already being met with resistance by Congressional Republicans, wary of giving any new money to Ukraine.
But seated at the Resolute Desk, Biden argued in his 15-minute address that Russian President Vladimir Putin and the terror group Hamas, responsible for the bloody October 7 attack on Israel ‘represent different threats’ but share a common goal.
‘They both want to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy,’ he said.
Biden warned that if bad actors like Putin were left unchecked ‘would be aggressors around the world would be emboldened to try the same.’
‘The risk of conflict and chaos could spread in other parts of the world, in the Indo-Pacific, in the Middle East, especially in the Middle East.’
He then noted another common thread between Ukraine and Israel: Iran.
‘Iran is supporting Russia in Ukraine and it’s supporting Hamas and other terrorist groups in the region,’ Biden said. ‘And we will continue to hold them accountable, I might add.’
President Joe Biden addressed the American people from the Oval Office Thursday, tying the conflicts in Israel and Ukraine together
He continued, ‘American leadership is what holds the world together.’
‘American alliances are what keep us – America – safe. American values are what make us a partner that other nations want to work with,’ he said. ‘To put all that at risk if we walk away from Ukraine, we turn our backs on Israel – it’s just not worth it.’
The president laid out that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ‘appetite for power and control’ means he won’t ‘limit himself to Ukraine,’ which could spill into a conflict where NATO countries are involved.
If that happens, Biden warned, ‘we’ll have something that we do not seek.’
‘We do not seek to have American troops fighting in Russia, or fighting against Russia,’ he said.
The president made other pledges too – telling family members of the hostages abducted by Hamas in Israel during the October 7 terror attack that ‘we’re pursuing every avenue to bring their loved ones home.’
‘As president, there is no higher priority for me than the safety of Americans held hostage,’ he said. ‘The terrorist of Hamas unleashed pure unadulterated evil in the world that sadly the Jewish people know perhaps better than anyone that there is no limit to the depravity of people when they want to inflict pain on others.’
He also pushed for foreign aid to get into Gaza where Palestinian civilians are suffering while the Hamas terrorist group fires rockets at Israel.
While his in-person meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was cancelled in the aftermath of the hospital explosion in Gaza, Biden spoke to the leader by phone on board Air Force One after spending seven hours on the ground in Israel Wednesday.
Biden said that he ‘reiterated that the United States remains committed to the Palestinian people’s right to dignity and to self-determination.’
‘The actions Hamas did don’t take that right away,’ Biden said.
The president said he was ‘heartbroken’ by the ‘tragic loss of Palestinian life’ in Gaza, including at the hospital – adding, ‘which was not done by the Israelis,’ doubling down on statements he made Wednesday, assigning blame to an errant rocket launched by another Hamas-like terror group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Biden’s funding request, reportedly $60 billion for Ukraine and $14 billion for Israel, comes at a moment when Congress is in chaos.
Eight Republicans and the entire Democratic caucus voted to remove McCarthy, with the MAGA-aligned Rep. Jim Jordan and McCarthy’s second-in-command, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise seen as the most viable candidates to take the gavel.
But efforts to get Scalise and then Jordan elected to the speakership have failed.
Scalise, after winning the first internal GOP caucus race, lost a House floor vote and opted to bow out.
Despite losing House floor votes on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jordan told reporters Thursday afternoon he planned to march on.
A move to further empower acting Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry has currently fizzled.
But Biden will have problems with the Senate too.
On Thursday Republican Sen. Roger Marshall wrote a letter, which was signed by seven additional GOP Senate colleagues, demanding that Israel and Ukraine aid be debated separately.
The eight senators said that Biden is ‘risking a government shutdown’ by tying the aid packages together.
‘My colleagues and I firmly believe that any aid to Israel should not be used as leverage to send tens of billions more dollars to Ukraine. These are two separate conflicts at different stages and cannot be considered as a “package deal,”‘ wrote Marshall.
Republican opposition to sending more aid to Ukraine has grown in recent months.
‘These are two separate and unrelated conflicts and it would be wrong to leverage support of aid to Israel in attempt to get additional aid for Ukraine across the finish line,’ continued Marshall who was joined by Sens. Ron Johnson, Josh Hawley, Mike Lee, Rick Scott, Cynthia Lummis, Mike Braun, J.D. Vance and Marsha Blackburn.
In the run-up to Biden’s Oval Office address, former President Donald Trump – the leading GOP contender – tried to score some political points.
‘The horrific catastrophes taking place in Israel as well as the chaos on our Southern Border and in hotspot after hotspot around the world, all have one thing in common: they were caused by Crooked Joe Biden’s deadly combination of incompetence, radicalism, and weakness,’ Trump said in a statement.