The Biden administration and congressional Democrats are exploring the possibility of linking legislation for additional military support for Israel with military assistance for Ukraine. This move sets the stage for a showdown with congressional Republicans who are opposed to aiding Ukraine amidst the ongoing political uncertainty in the House of Representatives.
While the White House has not yet formalized a request for additional aid to Israel, there is an eventual need as Israel continues to deplete its munitions. In a Senate briefing on Sunday evening, Senate Armed Services Chairman Jack Reed and others proposed grouping Ukraine aid and Israel aid together, anticipating that the discussion will intensify in the coming days. The strategy behind this is to potentially secure support for Ukraine aid from House Republicans who have shown dwindling support in recent months, by linking it with funding for Israel.
There is also consideration being given to including funding for border security and Taiwan in the eventual aid package. This comes as there is growing uncertainty over the passage of future supplemental packages in the GOP-controlled House. House Foreign Affairs Chairman Mike McCaul, a vocal supporter of aiding Ukraine, expressed his belief that combining funding for Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan, and border security would be a favorable package.
However, there are concerns that hardline House Republicans, who staunchly oppose providing more aid to Ukraine, may not back this effort. There is also uncertainty about whether a future House speaker would be willing to move forward with a joint package considering the bitter divide over the Ukraine issue.
Amidst all this, the question of how to support Israel remains central to the ongoing speaker’s race in the House. The current interim House Speaker Patrick McHenry has made it clear that his role is limited to facilitating the election of the next speaker and not to bring resolutions to the floor. Therefore, the only way to allocate more funding for Israel would be to elect a new speaker, a process that is currently uncertain as Majority Leader Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan have yet to secure the necessary votes.
As the debate surrounding military aid for Israel and Ukraine unfolds, it presents significant challenges for both Democrats and Republicans. The outcome of this legislative battle will have far-reaching implications for the relationships between the United States, Israel, and Ukraine.
Q: What is the Biden administration considering?
A: The Biden administration is considering linking legislation for additional military support for Israel with military assistance for Ukraine.
Q: Why is this a contentious issue?
A: Congressional Republicans are opposed to aiding Ukraine amidst the ongoing political uncertainty in the House of Representatives.
Q: What other countries may be included in the aid package?
A: There is discussion about including funding for border security and Taiwan in the eventual aid package.
Q: What concerns are being raised about the aid package?
A: There are concerns that hardline House Republicans who oppose providing aid to Ukraine may not support the combined funding package. There is also uncertainty about whether a future House speaker would be willing to move forward with a joint package given the divide over the Ukraine issue.
Q: How is the speaker’s race impacted?
A: The question of how to support Israel remains a central issue in the ongoing speaker’s race in the House, with the current interim speaker’s role limited to facilitating the election of the next speaker.