White House Considers Combining Military Aid for Israel and Ukraine
The White House is exploring the possibility of merging requests to Congress for military assistance to Ukraine and Israel in a bid to increase the chances of approval for Kyiv's support, as reported by The Washington Post.
According to two anonymous high-ranking officials from the U.S. President's administration, the final decision on merging the requests has not yet been made.
Officials from the Biden administration have informed leaders of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as members of key committees, that the White House will soon approach Congress to approve additional military assistance to Israel following the attack by Hamas militants on October 7th. This request could be submitted as early as next week.
Democrats and Republicans in Congress have expressed full support for Israel and pledged that the United States will stand by one of its closest allies. Representatives from the White House and some lawmakers who support Ukraine believe that combining the two aid requests may encourage some Republicans to support the unified package, as they would not want to hinder military assistance to Israel.
Senator Tony Gonzalez, a Republican from Texas and a supporter of aid to both Israel and Ukraine, stated that he does not see why assistance cannot be combined, especially if Congress hopes to resolve both issues before the next fiscal deadline.
However, on Monday, the White House's plan encountered obstacles. Republican representative Elise Stefanik rejected the idea of joint financing, asserting that House Republicans have enough votes to approve a separate aid package for Israel. The ability of the House of Representatives to pass any foreign aid package remains uncertain until the legislative body elects a speaker.
Meanwhile, White House spokesperson John Kirby declined to confirm whether the White House will merge these two packages but emphasized, "We consider both of them important." President Biden is scheduled to deliver a speech regarding the Hamas attacks on Tuesday afternoon local time.
In the meantime, according to media reports, U.S. senators from both parties who support Ukraine aim to promptly pass an annual aid package for Ukraine ranging from $50 to $100 billion.