White House seeks more aid for Israel and Ukraine in $105B funding request

WASHINGTON — The White House on Friday requested that Congress provide more than $105 billion in aid to Ukraine and Israel and other national security needs.

The move comes one day after President Joe Biden’s Oval Office address, where he announced his intention to provide more funding for “America’s national security needs” and support for “our critical partners.”

If approved, $61.4 billion in aid would go to Ukraine, and $14.3 billion would go to Israel. The White House requested $9.15 billion in aid for humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, Israel, Gaza “and other needs.”

The proposal also includes funding for U.S. border operations, supporting shelters and services for migrants and efforts to counter fentanyl.

“It’s a smart investment that’s going to pay dividends for American security for generations, help us keep American troops out of harm’s way, help us build a world that is safer, more peaceful, and more prosperous for our children and grandchildren,” Biden said in Thursday’s address.

The funding for Ukraine would go toward additional weapons and equipment, support for the country to provide “critical services to its people and sustain its economy,” assistance for displaced Ukrainians and nuclear and radiological incident response capabilities, among other resources, according to a White House fact sheet.

Aid to Israel would fund the country’s air and missile defense systems’ readiness, including support for the Iron Dome. It would also go toward replenishing Department of Defense stockpiles that the White House said “are being drawn down to support Israel in its time of need,” and increasing U.S. embassy security, the fact sheet said.

“Without additional replenishment funding, DOD will be unable to continue to backfill the Military Services for equipment provided via drawdown to Ukraine and Israel, thereby degrading U.S. readiness,” the White House said.

The request would invest more than $50 billion in “the American defense industrial base,” which the White House said will ensure ongoing U.S. military readiness.

Shalanda Young, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, sent a letter to House Speaker Pro Tempore , R-N.C., urging Congress to address the request quickly. NBC News has reached out to McHenry’s office for comment. Identical letters were also sent to the top Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate appropriations committees.

But the request faces an uphill battle in the House, which is still without a speaker — and therefore can’t really do much of anything. McHenry has threatened to resign as speaker pro tempore if his colleagues push him to move legislation without voting to expand his authority.

“Our job is to make clear to Congress what the needs are and what happens if this critical funding is not delivered,” Young said when asked during a call with reporters Friday about the House’s ability to take up the request. “So we’re doing our job here by letting Congress know what, what the critical needs are and we expect them to act and act swiftly.”

The Senate Appropriations Committee has scheduled a hearing on the funding request for Oct. 31. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are listed as witnesses.

“We are carefully reviewing the President’s request right now and working with our colleagues to craft a strong, bipartisan package that we aim to get across the finish line as soon as possible,” Sens. Patty Murray of Washington and Susan Collins of Maine, the top Democrat and Republican on the panel, said in a statement.

A group of nine Senate Republicans sent a letter on Thursday to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urging them to separate requested aid to Israel from aid to Ukraine.

“These are two separate conflicts and it would be wrong to leverage support of aid to Israel in attempt to get additional aid for Ukraine across the finish line,” read the letter, led by Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Roger Marshall of Kansas.

McConnell on Friday said the Senate must draft its own aid legislation.

“In the coming days, after reviewing the President’s request, we must produce our own supplemental legislation that meets the demonstrated needs of our national security,” he said in a statement.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

Source link