Congress

Biden Administration Signals Opposition to House Israel Standalone Funding Bill

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President Joe Biden’s administration has suggested it will oppose an Israel military aid package if it is presented separately from Ukrainian aid legislation.

National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby revealed as much during a White House press briefing on Monday morning. 

“We are opposed to a standalone bill that would just work on Israel,” said Advisor Kirby. 

The comments from the White House come hours after Israel repelled a broad Iranian missile attack. 

Despite condemning the attacks, President Biden also emphasized the US would not be supporting any retaliatory Israeli actions. 

Kirby further added the House of Representatives should pass the Senate’s $95 billion foreign aid spending bill that would jointly fund Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan. 

“The best way to get that aid into the hands of the IDF and into the hands of the Ukrainian soldiers is to pass that bipartisan bill that the Senate passed,” said Kirby.  

However, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) halted the bill from reaching the floor for a vote and instead proposed individual aid bills for each issue. 

“This week, we will consider separate bills with a structured and germane amendment process to fund our ally Israel, support Ukraine in its war against Russian aggression, strengthen our allies in the Indo-Pacific, pass additional measures to counter our adversaries and strengthen our national security,” said Speaker Johnson. 

If the House ultimately passes an Israel standalone funding bill, it is unclear whether the Senate, currently controlled by Democrats, would support it.

Alternatively, passing the Senate’s combined aid package in the House would be nearly impossible given some Republicans’ staunch opposition to it.

Primarily, House Republicans criticized the bill for funding allies’ foreign wars without responding to domestic issues. 

Namely, Republicans demanded border security provisions be included in any major spending bill.

Aside from granting $481 million for refugee and immigrant arrival social services, the Senate’s aid bill does not include any immigration or border enforcement measures. 

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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