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Biden is “not walking back” on the Putin comments

In his Monday statement, US President Joe Biden said that his remark in Warsaw that Russian President Vladimir Putin should be removed from power reflected his moral outrage, not an administration policy shift.

Be not afraid! We stand with Ukraine: President Joe Biden

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“I wasn’t then nor am I now articulating a policy change. I was expressing the moral outrage that I felt and I make no apologies,” he said. Asked whether the remark would spur a negative response from Putin, Biden said, “I don’t care what he thinks. … He’s going to do what he’s going to do.”

Biden added that he was “not walking anything back” by clarifying the remark. He said he did not think the comments on Putin would complicate diplomacy.

But the US President once again suggested Putin should not be leading Russia. If Putin “continues on the course that he’s on, he’s going to become a pariah worldwide and who knows what he becomes at home in terms of support,” Biden said

USD 7 billion for support of NATO’s eastern flank and Ukraine

On Monday, Joe Biden announced a budget blueprint that calls for higher taxes on the wealthy, lower federal deficits, more money for police and greater funding for education, public health and housing. There will be USD 7 billion slated for support of NATO’s eastern flank and Ukraine.

Biden is proposing a total of USD 5.8 trillion in federal spending in the fiscal year 2023, which begins in October, slightly less than what was projected to be spent this year before the supplemental spending bill was signed into law this month. The deficit would be USD 1.15 trillion.

The budget blueprint increases the defence expenditure by 4 per cent to USD 813 billion. There would be USD 915 billion for domestic programs, and the remaining balance would go to mandatory spending such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and net interest on the national debt.

Additional budget income is to be achieved through the so-called “minimal tax for billionaires”, which imposes a 20 per cent tax on all taxpayers with income exceeding USD 100 million per year.

However, US Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell rejected the budget plans as a proposal heavy on “far-left” spending priorities but unacceptably light on defence spending at a time of heightened international tensions over Ukraine.

“The White House budget request that President Biden published today offers the clearest possible reminder that the Biden administration’s far-left values are fundamentally disconnected from what American families actually need,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

“First and foremost, at a dangerous time, the budget falls woefully short on defence spending,” he added.

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