President Biden to Seek $100bn in Funding for Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan, and US Border Security

In a primetime address at the White House on Thursday, President Joe Biden announced his intention to request billions of dollars of funding from Congress. The majority of the $100bn (£82bn) will be designated for military aid to Israel and Ukraine, with additional funds allocated for Taiwan and US border security.

The announcement comes after President Biden’s recent visit to Israel, during which he engaged in discussions with Israeli officials about their specific requirements for funding. Israel has requested precision-guided munitions and assistance in replenishing its Iron Dome air defense system.

The proposed request for funding has caused a divide among Republican lawmakers, with some expressing skepticism about the exorbitant amount. Hardline Republican Andy Ogles commented that a $100bn request is “ridiculous” and believes that the funding should be separated.

Despite this opposition, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has shown willingness to consider the measure. During a speech on the Senate floor, McConnell emphasized the importance of supporting American allies and stated that Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan have “no choice” but to defend themselves against threats from Hamas, Russia, and China respectively.

However, the funding request faces significant challenges due to the current political landscape in Congress. The US House of Representatives, where spending measures must be passed, currently does not have a Speaker. Republican lawmakers have failed to elect a new Speaker, leaving all legislation, including spending requests, on hold.

Democrats hope to garner bipartisan support for the funding request by linking it to Republican priorities, such as US border security. They aim to build on the recently formed bipartisan coalition that prevented a government shutdown and secured temporary funding in the previous month.

The fate of the funding request may rely on the interim Speaker, Patrick McHenry, who played a pivotal role in negotiating the temporary funding agreement. Republican nominee Jim Jordan, who has previously expressed opposition to further aid for Ukraine, is seen as less favorable.

The anticipated timeline for reviewing the request is approximately a week or two, with hopes of reaching a resolution before Thanksgiving at the end of November. However, these plans may be contingent on the House resolving its leadership issues and determining a new Speaker.

President Biden’s funding request seeks to prioritize the national security interests of Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan, and the United States. While facing opposition from some Republican lawmakers, the hope is that bipartisan cooperation can be achieved through careful negotiations and linking the funding to relevant issues, such as US border security.