May 1, 2022
Biden speaks in support of Ukrainians defending their country against Russia’s war 4/28/22 Transcript
President Joe Biden will ask Congress for $33 billion to fund both humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine through September of this year. 4/28/22. Read the transcript here.
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President Joe Biden: (00:01)
President Joe Biden: (00:04)
President Joe Biden: (00:06)
I just signed a request to Congress for critical security, economic, and humanitarian assistance to help Ukraine continue to counter Putin’s aggression, and at a very pivotal moment.
President Joe Biden: (00:20)
We need this bill to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom. And our NATO allies, our EU partners, they’re going to pay their fair share of the cost as well, but we have to do this. We have to do our part as well in leading the Alliance.
President Joe Biden: (00:34)
The cost of this fight is not cheap, but caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen. We either back Ukrainian people as they defend their country, or we stand by as the Russians continue their atrocities and aggression in Ukraine.
President Joe Biden: (00:52)
Every day, every day the Ukrainians pay the price, and the price they pay is with their lives for this fight. So we need to contribute arms, funding, ammunition, and the economic support to make their courage and sacrifice have purpose so they can continue this fight and do what they’re doing.
President Joe Biden: (01:10)
It’s critical this funding gets approved and approved as quickly as possible.
President Joe Biden: (01:15)
You know, long before Russia launched [inaudible 00:01:18] invasion, I made clear how the United States would respond, predicted they would invade, and they surely did. We said we would not send US troops to fight Russian troops in Ukraine, but we would provide robust military assistance and try to unify the Western world against Russia’s aggression.
President Joe Biden: (01:37)
I said I would impose powerful sanctions on Russia and that we would destroy this myth that somehow they can continue to move without the rest of the world acting, that we’d deploy additional forces to defend NATO territories, particularly in the east, along the Russian and Belarus borders. That’s exactly what we said we would do, and we did.
President Joe Biden: (02:00)
But despite the disturbing rhetoric coming out of the Kremlin, the facts are playing for everybody to see.
President Joe Biden: (02:06)
We’re not attacking Russia. We’re helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression. And just as Putin chose to launch this brutal invasion, he could make the choice to end this brutal invasion.
President Joe Biden: (02:18)
Russia is the aggressor, no ifs or buts about it. Russia is the aggressor, and the world must and will hold Russia accountable.
President Joe Biden: (02:27)
Russia’s continued assault is yielding immense human cost. We’ve seen them leave behind horrifying evidence of their atrocities and war crimes in the areas they try to control. And as long as the assaults and atrocities continue, we’re going to continue to supply military systems.
President Joe Biden: (02:46)
[inaudible 00:02:46] parenthetically. You know, there’s a dinner this weekend to celebrate the press. Think of what the American press has done; the courage it’s taken to stay in these war zones, the courage it’s taken to report every single day. I’ve always had respect for the press, but I can’t tell you how much respect I have watching them in these zones where they’re under fire, risking their own lives to make sure the world hears the truth.
President Joe Biden: (03:18)
Imagine if we weren’t getting that information. It’d be a different world. It’d be a different circumstance.
President Joe Biden: (03:24)
In the past two months, Russia launched its brutal attack and we’ve moved weapons and equipment to Ukraine in record speed. Thanks to the aid we provided, Russian forces have been forced to retreat from Kyiv. Doesn’t mean they’re not going to try to come back, but they’ve retreated thus far.
President Joe Biden: (03:44)
We’ve sent thousands of anti-armor, anti-missiles, helicopters, drones, grenade launchers, machine guns, rifles, radar systems, more than 50 million rounds of ammunition.
President Joe Biden: (03:56)
The United States alone has provided 10 anti-armor systems for every Russian tank that is in Ukraine. 10 to one. We’re providing Ukraine significant timely intelligence to help them defend themselves against the Russian onslaught. And we’re facilitating a significant flow of weapons and systems to Ukraine from our allies and partners around the world, including tanks, artillery, and other weapons.
President Joe Biden: (04:21)
That support is moving with unprecedented speed. Much of the new equipment we’ve announced in the past two weeks has already gotten to Ukraine where it can be put to direct use on the battlefield.
President Joe Biden: (04:34)
However, we have almost exhausted what we call, the fancy phrase, “the draw down authority” that Congress authorized for Ukraine and a bipartisan spending bill last month. Basically we’re out of money.
President Joe Biden: (04:48)
And so that’s why today, in order to sustain Ukraine as it continues to fight, I’m sending Congress a supplemental budget request. It’s going to keep weapons and ammunition flowing without interruption to the brave Ukrainian fighters and continue delivering economic and humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people.
President Joe Biden: (05:08)
This so-called supplemental funding addresses the needs of the Ukrainian military during the critical weeks and months ahead. And it begins to transition to longer term security systems that’s going to help Ukraine to deter and continue to defend against Russian aggression.
President Joe Biden: (05:25)
This assistance would provide even more artillery, armored vehicles, anti-armored systems, anti-air capabilities that have been used so effectively thus far in the battlefield by the Ukrainian warriors.
President Joe Biden: (05:38)
And it’s going to deliver much needed humanitarian assistance, as well as food, water, medicine, shelter, and other aid to Ukrainians displaced by Russia’s war, and provide aid for those seeking refuge in other countries from Ukraine.
President Joe Biden: (05:53)
It’s also going to help schools and hospitals open. It’s going to allow pensions and social support to be paid to the Ukrainian people so they have something in their pocket. It’s also going to provide critical resources to address food shortages around the globe.
President Joe Biden: (06:09)
Ukraine was one of the world’s largest agricultural producers and typically grows 10% of all the wheat that’s shipped around the world.
President Joe Biden: (06:17)
Putin has asserted sanctions are blocking food from Ukraine and Russia getting on the market; the sanctions we’ve imposed on Russia. Simply not true. Putin’s war, not sanctions, are impacting the harvest of food and disrupting the movement of that food by land and sea to nations around the globe that need it.
President Joe Biden: (06:40)
This funding is going to help ease rising food prices at home as well and abroad caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine. It’s going to help support American farmers produce more crops like wheat and oil seed, which is good for rural America, good for the the American consumer, and good for the world.
President Joe Biden: (06:59)
And this supplemental request will use the Defense Production Act to expand domestic production and the reserve of critical materials; materials like nickel and lithium that have been disrupted by Putin’s war in Ukraine, and that are necessary to make everything from defense systems to automobiles.
President Joe Biden: (07:20)
And I hope Congress will move on this funding quickly. I believe they will.
President Joe Biden: (07:25)
I want to thank Congress, Democrats and Republicans, for their support of the people of Ukraine.
President Joe Biden: (07:30)
And next week, I will be in Alabama to visit Lockheed Martin plant that manufactures the Javelin anti-tank missile we have been sending to Ukraine, and to thank the American workers, thank them for producing the weapons that help stop Russia’s advances in Ukraine in cities like Kyiv. Their hard work has played a critical role in ensuring Putin’s strategic failure in Ukraine, and they should know that we know it.
President Joe Biden: (07:56)
In addition to this supplemental funding, I’m also sending to Congress a comprehensive package that will enhance our underlying effort to accommodate the Russian oligarchs and make sure we take their ill-begotten gains. We’re going to accommodate them. We’re going to seize their yachts, their luxury homes, and other ill-begotten gains of Putin’s kleptocracy, the guys who are the kleptocracy.
President Joe Biden: (08:30)
But these are bad guys. This legislative package strengthens our law enforcement capabilities to seize property linked to Russia’s kleptocracy.
President Joe Biden: (08:40)
It’s going to create new expedited procedures for forfeiture and seizure of these properties. And it’s going to ensure that, when the oligarch’s assets are sold off, funds can be used directly to remedy the harm Russia caused and help rebuild Ukraine.
President Joe Biden: (08:57)
Additionally, yesterday, Russia threatened two of our allies with a cutoff of energy supplies. While America has ended all Russian fossil fuel imports, because we’re able to use our vast supply of power in our country, some European countries have faced more challenges in reducing their reliance on Russian fuel.
President Joe Biden: (09:18)
Russia has long claimed to be “the reliable source of energy for the world.” No matter what the differences are, their customers are always going to be in good shape.
President Joe Biden: (09:30)
But these actions prove that energy is not just a commodity that Russia sells to help meet other countries’ needs, but a weapon used to deploy against those who stand against their aggression.
President Joe Biden: (09:41)
Let me be clear. We will not let Russia intimidate or blackmail their way out of these sanctions. We will not allow them to use their oil and gas to avoid consequences for their aggression. We’re working with other nations like Korea, Japan, [inaudible 00:09:56] and others to support our effort to help European allies threatened by Russia with gas blackmail and their energy needs in other ways.
President Joe Biden: (10:05)
Aggression will not win. Threats will not win. This is just another reminder of the imperative for Europe and the world to move more and more of our power needs to clean energy.
President Joe Biden: (10:18)
In the United States, we’re doing that right now. Last year, we developed more solar, wind and battery storage than any year in our history, enough to power 56 million American homes.
President Joe Biden: (10:30)
Earlier this month, we acted to bolster our reliance on our nuclear energy facilities, which generates more than half of our carbon free power. And we’re just getting started.
President Joe Biden: (10:42)
I look at this as a serious problem, but also an enormous opportunity. An opportunity.
President Joe Biden: (10:48)
Bottom line, all these actions we’ve been taking are about this truth: investing in Ukraine’s freedom and security is a small price to pay to punish Russian aggression, to lessen the risk of future conflicts.
President Joe Biden: (11:03)
You know, throughout our history, we’ve learned that when dictators do not pay the price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and engage in more aggression. They keep moving, and the cost, the threats to America and the world keep rising.
President Joe Biden: (11:19)
We can’t let this happen. Our unity at home, our unity with our allies and partners, and our unity with the Ukrainian people is sending an unmistakable message to Putin: “You will never succeed in dominating Ukraine.”
President Joe Biden: (11:35)
Finally, we’re going to continue to deliver critical support to Ukraine. We must also not let our guard down in our fight against COVID-19 at home and abroad.
President Joe Biden: (11:45)
That’s why I’m, again, urging Congress to act on my request for 22.5 billion dollars in emergency resources so the American people can continue to protect themselves from COVID-19.
President Joe Biden: (11:58)
The reason we were so successful in the past is because I was able to work with drug manufacturers to order significant quantities of material we needed ahead of time to get in the front of the line. Without additional funding, we can’t pre-order the amount of vaccines we need, and we risk losing our spot in line for vaccines that target multiple variants.
President Joe Biden: (12:20)
We’re running out of supply for therapeutics like antiviral pills that we desperately need. Without additional funding, we’re unable to purchase the life saving treatment for the American people.
President Joe Biden: (12:32)
We’ve donated more vaccines and treatments to the world than all other nations in the world combined. If the US won’t do it, no one else is really going to step up and do it. Without additional funding, the United States won’t be able to help stop the spread around the world and close off ongoing sources of the supply chain disruptions.
President Joe Biden: (12:54)
Look, let’s get both of these critical tasks done. No delays, no excuses. Just action. Now. Now. Thank you all. Thank you.
President Joe Biden: (13:09)
Speaker 2: (13:10)
Go ahead. No, you do yours.
Speaker 3: (13:10)
President Joe Biden: (13:11)
Watch your head, man. You’re going to get hurt. [inaudible 00:13:12] turn that camera.
Speaker 2: (13:14)
Speaker 3: (13:14)
He’s a gentleman.
Speaker 3: (13:15)
Mr. President, I wanted to ask what your message is to Ukrainian refugees on the southwest border and those that are trying to flee Ukraine from the violence.
President Joe Biden: (13:25)
We have made a direct means by which they can get from Europe, from Ukraine, directly to the United States without going to the southern border.
President Joe Biden: (13:34)
In the meantime, on the southern border, we’re trying to work through and make sure that it is an orderly process they’re able to get in.
President Joe Biden: (13:40)
But just so you know, we have said, there’s no need to go to the southern border. Fly directly to the United States. We set up a mechanism whereby they can come directly with a visa.
President Joe Biden: (13:53)
Speaker 2: (13:53)
How worried are you by the growing number of Russian comments and their media and some of their officials painting this conflict as actually already a conflict between NATO, the US and Russia. They’re painting it in very alarmist terms, talking nuclear weapons, saying it’s a life or death struggle, et cetera.
Speaker 2: (14:09)
And just separately … Well, connected to that; Lavrov himself says it’s already a proxy war. Not a direct war, but a proxy war.
Speaker 2: (14:17)
So are either of those two things true? And do they worry you, those things?
President Joe Biden: (14:22)
They’re not true. They do concern me because it shows the desperation that Russia is feeling about their abject failure in being able to do what they set out to do in the first instance. And so I think it’s more of a reflection, not of the truth, but of their failure.
President Joe Biden: (14:41)
And so instead of saying that the Ukrainians equipped with some capability to resist Russian forces are doing this, they’ve got to tell their people the United States and all of NATO is engaged in taking out Russian troops and tanks, et cetera.
President Joe Biden: (15:03)
So number one, it’s an excuse for their failure, but number two, it’s also, if they really mean it, no one should be making idle comments about the use of nuclear weapons or the possibility they’d use that. It’s irresponsible.
President Joe Biden: (15:24)
Speaker 4: (15:24)
Mr. President, back on the border; Title 42, a number of your democratic friends are pressuring the White House to maintain that policy. Can you give us a straight answer whether they’re going to heed that request or you’re going to get rid of it?
President Joe Biden: (15:40)
I can give you a straight answer. We had proposed to eliminate that policy by the end of May. The court has said we can’t so far, and what the court says, we’re going to do. The court could come along and say we cannot do that. And that’s it.
President Joe Biden: (15:57)
Speaker 5: (15:57)
Mr. President, you say that this is not a proxy war, but Russia clearly disagrees. They say that war means war. So how concerned are you that they may start to act accordingly, even if you disagree?
President Joe Biden: (16:08)
We are prepared for whatever they do.
Speaker 6: (16:11)
What options do you have to ensure Poland and Bulgaria have sufficient supplies of gas?
President Joe Biden: (16:16)
First of all, as you know, Poland has indicated they have significant reserves of gas that they have planned for, as does, not as much, but as does Bulgaria. And we have worked with our allies from Japan on to say that we may divert our sale of the natural gas that we’re sending to those countries and divert it directly to Poland and Bulgaria.
President Joe Biden: (16:42)
So that’s as much I can tell you right now.
Speaker 7: (16:46)
Sir, how concerned are you about a recession, given the GDP report today showed a contraction of 1.4% in the fourth quarter?
President Joe Biden: (16:54)
Well, I’m not concerned about a recession. I mean, you’re always concerned about a recession, but …
President Joe Biden: (17:01)
The GDP fell to 1.4%, but here’s the deal. We also had, last quarter, consumer spending and business investment and residential investment increased at significant rates, both for leisure as well as hard products. Number one.
President Joe Biden: (17:19)
Number two, unemployment is at the lowest rate since 1970. A record 4.5 million businesses were created last year. We’re in a situation where we have a very different view than Senator Scott of the Republicans who want to raise taxes on the middle class families and want to include half the small business owners in that.
President Joe Biden: (17:45)
So I think what you’re seeing is enormous growth in the country that was affected by everything from COVID and the COVID blockages that we occurred along the way.
President Joe Biden: (17:58)
Now, you always have to take a look, and no one is predicting a recession now. Some are predicting there may be a recession and 2023.
President Joe Biden: (18:10)
I’m concerned about it, but I know one thing; that, you know, if our Republican friends are really interested in doing something about dealing with economic growth, they should help us continue to lower the deficit, which we’ve done last year; over 350 billion dollars. They should be willing to work with us to have a tax code that is actually one that works and everybody pays their fair share. And they should be in a position where you shouldn’t be raising taxes on middle class folks, you should be raising taxes on people who … Everyone acknowledges that the vast majority of Republicans aren’t paying their fair share.
President Joe Biden: (18:50)
I’ve said it a hundred times. You have 50 major corporations of the Fortune 500 companies made 40 billion dollars last year; didn’t pay a single penny. No one under our proposal, and again, $400,000 a year, will see a penny in their taxes go up. Not one penny.
President Joe Biden: (19:07)
Speaker 8: (19:07)
Do you think COVID and Ukraine should be tied together in legislation?
President Joe Biden: (19:14)
Well, I don’t care how they do it. I’m sending them both up. I mean, they can do it separately or together, but we need them both.
Speaker 9: (19:20)
Mr. President, Majority Leader Schumer said yesterday that you’re “getting closer to using executive authority to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt.”
Speaker 9: (19:30)
Can you confirm that? What exactly are you looking to plan to do here in the coming [crosstalk 00:19:35]-
President Joe Biden: (19:34)
You mean my spokesman said that?
Speaker 9: (19:36)
Majority leader Schumer.
President Joe Biden: (19:38)
Look, number one, first thing we did was reform the system that was in place that didn’t work for anybody, that allowed people to write off debt if they engaged in public service. We have almost 1,000,785 … Don’t hold me to the exact number. I’ll get the number. 700 and some thousand have had debt forgiven, their whole debt forgiven, because of their work, working as teachers or other means by which they qualify. And we continue to make that easier.
President Joe Biden: (20:10)
Secondly, I am considering dealing with some debt reduction. I am not considering $50,000 debt reduction, but I’m in the process of taking a hard look at whether or not there will be additional debt forgiveness, and I’ll have an answer on that in the next couple weeks. Thank you.
President Joe Biden: (20:34)
President Joe Biden: (20:34)
Speaker 10: (20:34)
Thank you, guys. Thank you, guys. Thank you.
Speaker 10: (20:37)