- Web Desk
- 2 Hours ago
Biden to push Israel, Ukraine aid package well over $2bn
- Web Desk
- Oct 15, 2023
WASHINGTON (Reuters): White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday that the Biden administration hopes to push a new weapons package for Israel and Ukraine through Congress that will be significantly higher than $2 billion.
Sullivan, in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” said US President Joe Biden will have intensive talks with the U.S. Congress this week on the need for the package to be approved.
Republicans’ struggles to pick a speaker for the House of Representatives after party hardliners ousted Kevin McCarthy nearly two weeks ago has delayed action on legislation, as Israel prepares a ground war against Hamas in Gaza and US officials warn the regional crisis could escalate.
Biden has been considering a budget request lumping together aid for Israel, Ukraine and possibly Taiwan and the U.S. southern border to improve the chances of getting it approved amid calls from some Republicans to cut money for Kyiv.
Asked whether the request would be for $2 billion, as has been previously reported, Sullivan said: “Well, the number is going to be significantly higher than that, but it will, as I said, certainly include the necessary military equipment to defend freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity in Ukraine, and to help Israel defend itself as it fights its terrorist threat.”
Some Republicans have already said they would not back any Israel aid package that also has aid for Ukraine. How any bill moves through Congress without a House speaker is unclear.
Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, founder of a hardline Republican party caucus with the backing of former President and likely 2024 nominee Donald Trump, has been nominated to be House Speaker.
It is unclear he has the votes necessary from his own party to get a simple majority in the House, which is narrowly controlled by Republicans.
“I believe at the end of the day that Jordan can get there and I’m doing everything I can to help him be able to become speaker,” McCarthy told Fox News Sunday morning.