White House sends $105bn urgent aid request to Congress for Israel and Ukraine

Under President Joe Biden's proposal, Israel is to receive $14.3 billion to supplement its air and missile defence systems

President Joe Biden has expressed his support for Israel following the attack by Hamas on October 7. AP
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The White House has submitted an urgent request to Congress for more than $105 billion in additional funding to Israel and Ukraine, as well as to cover domestic priorities.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said President Joe Biden needed Congress to pass the budget proposal quickly to meet America's national security needs and help its allies in the Israel-Gaza war and invasion of Ukraine.

“This budget request today comes amid a global inflection point,” Mr Sullivan said.

“Taken together, this budget request is critical to advancing America’s national security and ensuring the safety of the American people."

The move comes a day after Mr Biden gave a national address from the Oval Office, during which he sought to draw parallels between the conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine, saying the world stood at a dangerous turning point.

On Wednesday, he visited Israel, where he expressed his administration's support for Israel's retaliation following the October 7 attack by Hamas that killed about 1,400 people.

Israel has since been bombarding the Gaza Strip, killing more 4,200 people. It is also preparing for a ground invasion.

According to Mr Biden's proposal, $61.4 billion would go towards supporting Ukraine, while Israel would receive $14.3 billion, to supplement its air and missile defence systems.

The package also includes $9.15 billion in funding for humanitarian aid and $7.4 billion for Taiwan, and invests more money in domestic defence manufacturing.

“This supplemental request invests over $50 billion in the American defence industrial base, ensuring our military continues to be the most ready, capable and best-equipped fighting force the world has ever seen,” Office of Management and Budget director Shalanda Young said.

But the proposal comes as the US faces domestic political chaos.

Congress has no speaker, after infighting among Republican leaders led to the removal of Kevin McCarthy from the role more than two weeks ago.

The impasse means the House of Representatives cannot debate or pass legislation, including funding for allies abroad. The situation also risks causing a government shutdown by November 17.

“The world is watching,” Mr Sullivan said.

“And the American people rightly expect their leaders to come together and deliver on these priorities.

“And I urge Congress to address them as part of a comprehensive, bipartisan agreement in the weeks ahead.”

Updated: October 21, 2023, 4:02 AM