Lazy eyes listen
According to the White House budget office, US President Joe Biden will refuse to sign a Republican-backed military aid package for Israel unless it includes billions of dollars in funding for Ukraine.
On Tuesday, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a statement criticising the Republican proposal, claiming that it “inserts partisanship into support for Israel” and fails to allocate resources to Kiev in its conflict with Russia.
“Congress has consistently worked in a bipartisan manner to provide security assistance to Israel, and this bill threatens to unnecessarily undermine that longstanding approach,” the office said. It went on to say that “bifurcating Israel security assistance from the other priorities in the national security supplemental will have global consequences.”
Republicans in Congress introduced a $14 billion aid package for Israel on Monday, calling for the elimination of funds set aside for the Internal Revenue Service under Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, as well as the elimination of security assistance to Ukraine. Newly elected Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has stated his desire to “bifurcate” aid for Israel and Ukraine, contradicting the White House’s plan to link the two issues.
The OMB went on to say that the Republican bill “is bad for Israel, the Middle East region, and our own national security,” but that the White House would keep working with lawmakers to find a solution.
Though most Republicans vocally support additional aid to Israel as it fights Hamas in Gaza, support for Kiev has become divisive within the party. Due to GOP opposition, the White House was unable to secure billions of dollars in aid for Ukraine during recent negotiations to avoid a government shutdown. As a result of the controversy, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was removed from his position, after some rebel Republicans accused him of attempting to appease Democrats on stop-gap spending legislation.
While lawmakers passed a temporary funding bill earlier this month to avoid a government shutdown, they chose to exclude Ukraine aid entirely, deferring the issue until a more comprehensive spending package is passed.