For Biden, Aid Package Provides a Welcome Boost on the World Stage

Finally, President Biden had good news to share with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. When Mr. Biden picked up the telephone at his home in Wilmington, Del., to call Mr. Zelensky on Monday, the two rejoiced over the congressional breakthrough that will result in the first significant new U.S. military aid for Ukraine in 16 months.

Mr. Biden used the 30-minute call to “underscore the United States’ lasting commitment to supporting Ukraine” against Russian invaders and promise that arms will start flowing again “quickly,” according to a White House statement. For a grateful Mr. Zelensky, the timing was propitious. A Russian missile attack, he told Mr. Biden, had just destroyed the television tower in Kharkiv.

The House passage of a landmark $95 billion foreign aid package gives Mr. Biden much-needed momentum at a time when his credibility and American leadership have been questioned on the world stage. For months, the president has vowed unstinting support for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan without being able to deliver on Capitol Hill. Now, at last, he has planeloads of artillery rounds, air defense missiles and other munitions to back up his words.

“This was a historic win for President Biden and for America’s global leadership,” Senator Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland, said in an interview. “This was a moment when both our allies and our adversaries were watching to see if we would deliver for the people of Ukraine in their moment of need.”

Michael Allen, a former national security aide to President George W. Bush, said the aid would counter international worries about the United States for now but added that Mr. Biden should use it to press American allies to take more of a leadership role.

“It’s a win for the U.S. after months of talk about America’s lost its way, beset by populism and isolationism,” he said. “Biden now has new political capital, if he’ll use it, to browbeat more Europeans into more assistance for Ukraine and NATO.”

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