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Joe Biden has asked Congress for a $106 billion national security package, including $75.7 billion in additional funding for Ukraine and Israel, after urging lawmakers to strengthen U.S. leadership in the world to protect.
Aid requested for Ukraine totals $61.4 billion, including $30 billion for additional lethal assistance to Ukraine and replenishment of U.S. weapons stockpiles and $14.4 billion for additional military assistance and intelligence support to Kiev.
The proposed $14.3 billion package for Israel would include $10.6 billion for air and missile defense support, funding for U.S. defense contractors and their suppliers, and an increase in Pentagon weapons.
Passage of the funds, which the Biden administration says includes “an unprecedented commitment to Israel’s security,” is questionable because it requires approval from a disorganized Congress.
No package can be considered until the House elects a new speaker, but Republican lawmakers have rejected a plan to temporarily empower someone after they failed to elect a leader for the House.
Some Republicans have also opposed additional funding for Ukraine, making it unclear whether they would agree to more money for Kiev if it was tied to aid to Israel.
In his prime-time address from the Oval Office on Thursday, the president called the funding an investment in U.S. national security and domestic manufacturing jobs. “We’re sending Ukraine equipment that’s in our stockpiles, and when we use the money that Congress appropriated, we’re using it to replenish our own supplies, our own stockpiles, with new equipment,” Biden said.
This equipment is “made in America,” he said, highlighting the fact that Patriot missiles for air defense batteries are manufactured in Arizona, while 12 states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas, produce artillery shells.
The White House said $50 billion would go to the domestic defense industry, already stretched by arming Ukraine, including $3.4 billion for submarine production.
The request for funding for the submarine industrial base is a significant step that will ease concerns among some on Capitol Hill that the U.S. is unable to help Australia procure nuclear-powered submarines without its endangering its own submarine construction program.
“Hamas’ horrific attack and its regional impact are a terrible reminder of the insecurity we see around the globe and the challenges it poses to the global economy,” said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
“It also underscores the need for strong international financial institutions ready to respond to the economic impact of such unexpected crises,” she continued. Biden’s proposal includes financing the IMF and World Bank to provide “an alternative to coercive financing” from China, the administration wrote in its letter to Congress.
The Biden administration also requested $9.15 billion for the State Department for humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, Gaza and Israel, and $13.7 billion for U.S. border security.
The package “addresses the global humanitarian impact of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine and Hamas’ horrific attacks on Israel, including by expanding humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza,” the government said.
Additional reporting by Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington
Source : www.ft.com