President Joe Biden is considering a supplemental request of approximately $100 billion that would include defense assistance for Israel and Ukraine alongside border security funding and aid to nations in the Indo-Pacific, including Taiwan, according to people familiar with the matter.
(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden is considering a supplemental request of approximately $100 billion that would include defense assistance for Israel and Ukraine alongside border security funding and aid to nations in the Indo-Pacific, including Taiwan, according to people familiar with the matter.
Biden has pledged support for Israel in the wake of the deadly attack earlier this month by Hamas, a group designated by the US and EU as a terrorist organization. Aid for Israel enjoys broad bipartisan support in the US Congress.
Assistance for Ukraine, however, has struggled to earn the favor of House Republicans. A group of lawmakers supportive of additional aid for Kyiv earlier this month proposed that the administration pursue a joint aid package for Israel and Ukraine in hopes of overcoming Republican opposition.
The decision to include border security funding in the package is also aimed at garnering the support of Republicans in Congress who have long linked additional foreign assistance to addressing an influx of migrants in the US.
A spokesperson for the Office of Management and Budget declined to comment.
A person familiar with the administration’s effort to coordinate the request said that details of the package were still being worked out and stressed that the amount would cover an entire fiscal year. The previous request from the White House — which included $24 billion in Ukraine assistance — covered only a three-month period.
Any request from the White House, though, will need to wait for House lawmakers to elect a new speaker after the ouster of Kevin McCarthy from the post. Any spending measure would need to be taken up by the House first but the chamber is unable to complete any legislative business until Republicans coalesce behind a new speaker.
The sheer scope and ask of the package is likely to invite resistance in the House, where GOP differences on spending cuts and foreign aid have played out in the speaker fight.
Representative Jim Jordan, the leading candidate to be the next speaker, has been a skeptic of new Ukraine aid and conservatives in the House have demanded that an Israel package not be tied to further assistance for Kyiv. Jordan in recent days has given conflicting signals on Ukraine, including suggesting that additional aid would have to be tied to increased oversight.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday said he expected the administration to send the request by “the end of this week” and that it would include military, diplomatic, intelligence, and humanitarian aid for Israel.
“We’d like to get the supplemental package moved as quickly as possible because the needs are great in both Israel and Ukraine,” he said.
(Updates with additional details, context throughout)
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