The White House on Friday asked Congress for nearly $106 billion to fund ambitious plans for Ukraine, Israel and US border security, but offered no strategy for securing the money from a broken Congress.
President Joe Biden’s request for the funding comes days after he visited Israel and pledged solidarity as the country bombards Gaza following an attack by Hamas terrorists that killed 1,400 people in southern Israel.
By grouping Israel funding with Ukraine, border security, refugee assistance, measures to counter China and other hotly debated priorities, the Democratic president is hoping he has created a must pass national security spending bill that can win support in a chaotic House of Representatives.
The chamber, which Republicans won control of last year, has been without a leader for 18 days.
Some Republican lawmakers have grown skeptical of the need to fund Ukraine’s war with Russia, and have threatened to halt government altogether to put an end to chronic US budget deficits and fiscal spending fueled by $31.4 trillion in debt.
Some $14.3 billion of Friday’s funding request for the 2024 fiscal year would be dedicated to Israel, much of it to support the country’s air and missile defense systems and other weapons purchases. Israel has vowed to wipe out Hamas, which rules Gaza, after the Islamist terrorist group’s Oct. 7 attack.