Espreso. Global

US Congress may vote on aid to Ukraine and Israel as one package - media

10 October, 2023 Tuesday
13:51

The White House is discussing the possibility of combining military aid to Ukraine and Israel into one package, which would make it easier and faster to implement both decisions

The Washington Post and NBC News reported this, citing sources, Radio Svoboda reports.

According to them, the possibility of including funding for Ukraine in the request for urgent assistance to Israel would increase the chances that Congress would approve aid to Kyiv, despite opposition from some Republicans in the House of Representatives. According to NBC News, this proposal was made by congressmen from both parties who support Ukraine.

Two senior White House officials told WP that there is no final decision. One of the interlocutors noted that such a move would "interfere with the far right," which strongly opposes increasing aid to Ukraine but actively supports aid to Israel.

The White House is expected to ask Congress to approve additional military aid to Israel next week.

A White House spokesman said that the Joe Biden administration is calmly assessing how appropriate it is to combine aid to Ukraine and Israel. He noted that the decision would ultimately be made by Congress.

"We are a large, economically viable and dynamic enough country to be able to support both," said John Kirby, the National Security Council's coordinator for strategic communications.

At the current level of spending, this will be enough for about six more months, the newspaper reports, citing unnamed representatives of the US military department.

Disputes in the US Congress over aid to Ukraine: what is known

On October 1, U.S. President Joe Biden signed a bill to temporarily fund the government until November 17, which had been approved the day before by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. He also called on congressional Republicans to support a bill to provide additional aid to Ukraine, saying he was "tired" of the constant bickering that nearly led to a government shutdown.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that despite the lack of a decision in the US Congress on assistance to Ukraine amid a possible shutdown, US support for Ukraine has not weakened.

The U.S. Congress did not include new funding for Ukraine in the temporary budget bill.  In addition, the House of Representatives dismissed Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who supported military aid to Ukraine.

The Pentagon has already warned Congress of possible problems with the supply of weapons to Ukraine. According to Politico, Biden's team is looking for alternative ways to fund aid to Ukraine.

On October 7, another publication, The Telegraph, reported that Biden was going to ask Congress for a $100 billion aid package for Ukraine. Also, US Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth said that in order to effectively help Israel and Ukraine at the same time, the Pentagon would need additional funding from the US Congress.

The WSJ notes that the US Congress is discussing a $60-100 billion aid package for Ukraine. US senators from both parties want to pass an annual aid package for Ukraine in the coming weeks.

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