Biden Administration Considers Combining Aid to Israel and Ukraine into one request to Congress

  • Bureau
  • 11:26 AM, October 10, 2023
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Biden Administration Considers Combining Aid to Israel and Ukraine into one request to Congress
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky with his Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Sept.20, 2023.

The White House is reportedly contemplating a unique strategy to secure funding for both Ukraine and Israel in the face of increasing opposition from Republican lawmakers.

According to sources cited by The Washington Post, this approach could enhance the prospects of Congress approving aid to Kyiv, despite growing resistance from House Republicans.

The publication suggests that the administration is considering combining the funding requests for Ukraine and Israel, a move aimed at placating far-right factions within the Republican Party. While some Republicans vehemently oppose additional aid to Ukraine, they are staunch supporters of aid to Israel.

This strategy could make sense because it would effectively counter the far-right's opposition to increased aid for Ukraine while ensuring continued support for Israel, the report said, quoting an unnamed official.

By linking these two aid packages, proponents hope to garner greater support among Republicans in Congress. The rationale behind this strategy is that it could dissuade some Republicans from blocking military aid to Israel, a move they may be reluctant to make.

White House spokesperson John Kirby refrained from confirming any connection between the two packages but emphasized, "We consider both to be significant." President Biden is set to speak about the Hamas attacks on Tuesday afternoon.

Representative Tony Gonzales (R-Tex.), a proponent of aid for both Israel and Ukraine, expressed doubts about the aid not being linked, especially if Congress intends to address both before the upcoming fiscal deadline.

In a related development, The Washington Post has speculated about the possibility of a significant Israeli military intervention in Gaza. Just a day earlier, the newspaper had reported that the Biden administration believed Israel might initiate a ground operation in the Gaza Strip within the next 24-48 hours. Consequently, Israeli officials have communicated specific requests to Washington, including the resupply of Iron Dome interceptor missiles, small diameter bombs, various types of machine gun ammunition, and an increased level of intelligence sharing.

However, combining the aid requests for Ukraine and Israel has raised concerns about the strain it could place on U.S. resources as it supports two countries simultaneously. In particular, Israel's request for 155mm high-explosive fragmentation shells has sparked concerns, as these munitions are in short supply and urgently needed by Kyiv.

It's important to note that no final decisions have been made regarding the merger of these aid requests. The White House is likely to continue evaluating the feasibility and potential consequences of this strategy before reaching a final determination.

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