Biden vows to give Israel ‘more support’ to ‘prevent tragedy’ as he prepares $100 BILLION aid package for Congress that includes cash for Ukraine
- President Biden is in Israel in a show of US support
- The administration is floating an aid package that would join aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan
- Israel reportedly seeking $10B; US has provided more than $100B to Ukraine
President Joe Biden is considering a $100 billion spending package that would aid Israel in its war on Hamas while continuing to arm Ukraine as it fights to expel Russian forces from its soil.
The package, which would provide a year’s worth to American funding at a time of global turmoil, would also bolster Taiwan as it seeks to stave off a feared invasion from China.
He is expected to ask lawmakers for at least that amount.
The challenge will be getting his coming spending request through a divided Congress, where House Republicans – currently without a speaker – have raised serious concerns about billions in support for Ukraine.
The extent of the package was being floated just as Biden touched down in Israel Wednesday, after a massive explosion at a hospital in Gaza caused the cancelation of a planned visit to Jordan to meet with Arab leaders.
President Joe Biden’s administration is assembling an aid package totaling at least $100 billion to provide additional support to Israel while continuing to fund the war in Ukraine and bolster Taiwan
Biden during his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, vowed to continue to support Israel to prevent ‘more tragedy.’
He spoke with emotion about the October 7 Hamas terror attack inside Israel.
‘In the wake of Hamas’ appalling terrorist assault – brutal, inhumane, almost beyond belief what they did – this cabinet came together and standing strong, standing united and I want you to know you are not alone,’ he said.
‘You are not alone. As I emphasized earlier, we will continue to have Israel’s back as you continue to protect your people.’
Biden may consider a supplemental request of about $100 billion that would include defense aid for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan, multiple sources familiar with the request told Reuters on Tuesday.
Biden has been widely expected to ask Congress to pass a supplemental spending bill within days, as Washington responds to the deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas militants while looking to continue to support Ukraine as it grapples with a Russian invasion.
Since the Oct. 7 attack, the administration has been grappling with how to try to move additional aid to Israel, and whether to tie it to a stalled Ukraine package.
Details of the expected package come as Biden embraced Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his trip to Israel
The news broke as Biden prepared to depart for Tel Aviv and Amman to show support for Israel and also to meet leaders of Jordan and Egypt on the Gaza humanitarian crisis
U.S. Senate leaders had said earlier on Tuesday they expected Biden to send them a request by the end of this week for billions of dollars in assistance for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan and for security at the U.S. border.
Two of the sources said the request was for a full year of funding, explaining the large size.
Administration officials have been working on the request for weeks.
Senator Ben Cardin, Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he had not yet seen a specific figure for the supplemental request, but would not be surprised if it was as large as $100 billion.
‘I hope it’s enough to get us through 2024,’ Cardin told Reuters.
He said he thought it had a good chance of passing the Senate with support from both Biden’s fellow Democrats and Republicans. ‘I think this is our best shot to get it done,’ Cardin said.
ISRAEL ASKED FOR $10 BILLION
However, there is uncertainty about the fate of any legislation in Congress, which under U.S. law controls spending. The Republican-led House of Representatives has been without a speaker and unable to pass legislation since Kevin McCarthy was ousted on Oct. 3.
A congressional source familiar with the request said Israel had asked for $10 billion, as it responds to an attack on its citizens by the Iran-backed militant group Hamas. Israel already receives $3.8 billion per year from the United States, under a 10-year agreement that began in 2016.
Congress has already approved $113 billion in security, humanitarian and economic assistance to Ukraine since Russian troops poured into its territory in February 2022.
Bloomberg first reported that Biden was considering making a $100 billion request.
‘We are going to do everything in our power to ensure the Senate delivers the support for Israel and the rest of the package. We intend to get the package the end of this week,’ the Senate’s majority leader, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, told his weekly press conference.
Senator Mitch McConnell, the chamber’s top Republican, said he expected the request to include assistance for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan, and said Republicans want it to include ‘something serious’ for the border.
Top Biden administration officials will hold a classified briefing on Wednesday for the Senate on the situation in Israel and Gaza. Schumer said that Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, who faces charges of acting as an unregistered agent for Egypt, would not attend.
Menendez has denied wrongdoing.
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