President Joe Biden officially asked Congress Friday for $105.85 billion in fresh funding to aid the war efforts in Israel and Ukraine, provide humanitarian aid, bolster border security and give Indo-Pacific nations financing options beyond China.
The biggest chunk of change will go to Ukraine – $61.4 billion – while Israel will receive $14.3 billion if the president’s plan get approved.
That’s a little more than the $13.6 billion allocated for border security – something Republicans have demanded.
In total, $10 billion will go toward humanitarian aid – with most going to help those in Gaza, Israel and Ukraine, and with a small sliver going to refugees in the United States.
In a letter to Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick Henry, Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young said she hoped the White House and Congress could reach a ‘comprehensive, bipartisan agreement’ to ‘invest in critical national security priorities.’
President Joe Biden officially asked Congress Friday for $105.85 billion in fresh funding to aid the war efforts in Israel and Ukraine , provide humanitarian aid, bolster border security and give Indo-Pacific nations financing options beyond China
The White House is already facing Republican resistance on giving more money to Ukraine, with a group of GOP senators saying Thursday they wanted to see Israeli and Ukraine aid decoupled.
During Biden’s Oval Office address Thursday night, he linked the two conflicts together, arguing ‘we cannot and will not let terrorists like Hamas and tyrants like Putin win.’
Biden said that while Russian President Vladimir Putin and the terror group Hamas, responsible for the bloody October 7 attack on Israel, ‘represent different threats’ they share a common goal.
‘They both want to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy,’ he said.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan reiterated that point Friday with reporters.
‘As President Biden said these conflicts can seem far away. But the outcome of these fights for democracy against terrorism and tyranny are vital to the safety and security of the American people,’ he said.
While Republicans have been wary about sending more Ukraine aid, they have hammered the administration for ignoring the border crisis.
During a call with reporters Friday, Young shot back at that rhetoric.
‘Let me be clear, some in Congress have said a lot about doing something on border security, while refusing to take up the $4 billion request we sent in August to Congress,’ she said. ‘We will not be lectured by those who refuse to act.’
‘As we said repeatedly, Congress needs to take action to provide sufficient resources for the border,’ she added.
In the breakdown of border funding, $6.4 billion will go toward border operations, $3.1 billion will go toward additional personnel – split between border patrol agents and immigration judge teams – and $1.2 billion is being asked for to counter the fentanyl trade.
Biden’s funding request comes at a moment when half of Congress is in chaos.
The House has been speakerless since October 3, after Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz filed a motion to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from the top job.
Eight Republicans and the entire Democratic caucus voted to remove McCarthy, with the MAGA-aligned Rep. Jim Jordan and McCarthy’s second-in-command, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, seen as the most viable candidates to take the gavel.
But efforts to get Scalise and then Jordan elected to the speakership have failed.
Scalise, after winning the first internal GOP caucus race, lost a House floor vote and opted to bow out.
Despite losing House floor votes on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jordan told reporters Thursday afternoon he planned to march on.
A move to further empower acting Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry has currently fizzled and another vote for Jordan is expected before lunchtime Friday.
‘This is a matter for the House to work out,’ Young said when asked how much the House being in disarray would cause any problems.
‘It is the president’s job, our job to make clear to Congress what the needs are and what happens if this critical funding is not delivered. So we’re doing our job here by letting Congress know what the critical needs are and we expect them to act and act swiftly,’ she said.
On the Senate side of Capitol Hill, Republican Sen. Roger Marshall is leading the charge to delink Ukraine and Israel funding.
‘My colleagues and I firmly believe that any aid to Israel should not be used as leverage to send tens of billions more dollars to Ukraine. These are two separate conflicts at different stages and cannot be considered as a “package deal,”‘ wrote Marshall in a letter Thursday.
Marshall was joined by seven additional GOP senators in signing the letter.