The White House said Sunday it plans to try this week to win congressional approval of a new weapons aid package for Ukraine and Israel that would total significantly more than $2 billion.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CBS’s “Face the Nation” show that President Joe Biden will lobby Congress this week on the need for the package to be approved as Ukraine’s 20-month war with Russia slogs on with no end in sight and Israel appears set to launch a ground invasion of Gaza in response to the Oct. 7 shock attack on Israel by Hamas militants.
Biden also could lump in aid to support Taiwan and control migration at the southern U.S. border with Mexico in hopes of winning passage.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday in Jerusalem after meeting with Israeli officials that the Senate would move quickly to approve more aid for Israel.
“We will work to move this aid through the Senate ASAP, and the Israeli leaders made it clear to us they need the aid quickly,” Schumer said.
He said among Israel’s requests are additional interceptors for its Iron Dome missile defense system, which has been operating nonstop shooting down Hamas rockets from Gaza, and precision munitions.
However, some U.S. Republican lawmakers, especially in the politically fractious House of Representatives, have turned against more U.S. aid to Ukraine.
That leaves the Biden administration with the hope of winning congressional approval of aid to Kyiv by linking it to assistance for Israel. In turn, some Republicans have already rejected combing the two aid packages, leaving overall prospects in doubt.
Approval of any aid package in the House is complicated by the current political chaos in the majority Republican caucus after Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted by a small faction of right-wing lawmakers nearly two weeks ago and Republicans have been unable to agree on a replacement. Without a speaker in the chamber, no action has been taken on any legislation.
The current front-runner for the speakership, Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, has won support from McCarthy and former President Donald Trump and in the caucus of House Republicans. Even so, he is well short of the 217-vote majority he would need when the full House votes.
Some material in this report came from Reuters.