TRANSCRIPT: “Remarks by President Biden Urging Congress to Pass His National Security Supplemental Request, Including Funding to Support Ukraine” [Excerpt]

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(The White House – – Dec. 6 2023)

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everyone. I’d like to speak to you today about an urgent responsibility that Congress has to uphold the national security needs of the United States and, quite frankly, of our partners as well.

This cannot wait. Congress needs to pass supplemental funding for Ukraine before they break for the holiday recess. It’s as simple as that.

Frankly, I think it’s stunning that we’ve gotten to this point in the first place. While Congress — the Republicans in Congress is — are willing to give Putin the greatest gift he could hope for and abandon our global leadership not just to Ukraine, but beyond that.

We’ve all seen the brutality that Putin has inflicted on Ukraine: invading another country; trying to subjugate his neighbors to his iron rule; committing atrocities — atrocities against Ukrainian civilians; trying to plunge them into the cold and darkness of winter by bombing their electrical grid so they don’t have any heat during the winter, ki- — or electricity, for that matter; kidnapping thousands of Ukrain- — thousands of Ukrainian children from their parents and families and keeping them in Russia.

Russian forces are committing war crimes. It’s as simple as that. It’s stunning.

Who is prepared to walk away from holding Putin accountable for this behavior? Who among us is really prepared to do that?

You know, for the better part of two years, the brave people of Ukraine have denied Russia a victory on the battlefield. They’ve defeated Vladimir Putin’s ambition to dominate Ukraine.

And the people of the United States can and should take pride — they should take pride that we’ve enabled Ukraine’s success thanks to the steady supply of weapons and ammunition we’ve provided them together with our partners and our allies.

I just did a meeting with the G7, which was one of the issues we discussed — all of the European leaders. We are prepared to stay with us — stay with Ukraine, and our European friends are as well.

Who in the United States are prepared to walk away from that? I tell you, I’m not prepared to walk away, and I don’t think the American people are either.

If Putin takes Ukraine, he won’t stop there. It’s important to see the long run here. He’s going to keep going. He’s made that pretty clear. If Putin attacks a NATO Ally — if he keeps going and then he attacks a NATO Ally — well, we’ve committed as a NATO member that we’d defend every inch of NATO territory. Then we’ll have something that we don’t seek and that we don’t have today: American troops fighting Russian troops — American troops fighting Russian troops if he moves into other parts of NATO.

Make no mistake: Today’s vote is going to be long remembered. And history is going to judge harshly those who turn their back on freedom’s cause.

We can’t let Putin win. I’ll say it again: We can’t let Putin win. It’s in our overwhelming national interest and international interest of all our friends.

Any disruption in our ability to supply Ukraine clearly strengthens Putin’s position. We’ve run out of money to be able to do that, in terms of authorization.

Extreme Republicans are playing chicken with our national security, holding Ukraine’s funding hostage to their extreme partisan border policies….

And, literally, the entire world is watching. The entire world is watching: What will the United States do?

And think, if we don’t support Ukraine, what’s the rest of the world going to do? What’s Japan going to do, which is supporting Ukraine now? What’s going to happen in terms of the G7? What’s going to happen in terms of our NATO Allies? What are they going to do?

If we walk away now, it’ll only embolden other would-be aggressors, so, I’m calling on Congress to do something and do the right thing: to stand with the people of Ukraine, stand against the tyranny of Putin, stand for freedom — literally, stand for freedom.

Let’s get this done. We’re the reason Putin has not totally overrun Ukraine and moved beyond that.

And you all have heard me talk about it before. If, in fact, we walk away, how many of our European friends are going to continue to fund? And at what rates are they going continue to fund it? ….

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