The request will help mitigate “the global humanitarian impacts of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine and of Hamas’ horrific attacks on Israel, including by extending humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza,” Joe Biden said.
US President Joe Biden has requested over USD 105 billion from Congress as part of a package to provide security assistance for the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Israel, as reported by CNN. The US President made his request a primetime Oval Office address to the nation and called the moment “an inflection point” in American history.
The request will help mitigate “the global humanitarian impacts of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine and of Hamas’ horrific attacks on Israel, including by extending humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza,” he said. The request will further seek additional funding for the US-Mexico border and priorities in the Indo-Pacific region, reported CNN citing sources.
In a letter to Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry, US Office of Management and Budget director, Shalanda Young, outlined the funding request, stating USD 14.3 billion in aid for Israel, USD 61.4 billion in aid for Ukraine, including USD 9.15 billion in aid for humanitarian aid, USD 7.4 billion in aid for Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region and USD 13.6 billion to address security at the US-Mexico border.
“The world is watching and the American people rightly expect their leaders to come together and deliver on these priorities. I urge Congress to address them as part of a comprehensive, bipartisan agreement in the weeks ahead,” Young said.
In response to Biden’s request, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer praised the package and said he would move quickly to pass it. “This legislation is too important to wait for the House to settle their chaos. Senate Democrats will move expeditiously on this request, and we hope that our Republican colleagues across the aisle will join us to pass this much-needed funding,” he said.
To further bifurcate the aid amount of USD 105 billion, Biden has asked USD 61.4 billion for Ukraine, detailing that more than half of that money would be allocated for providing weapons and ammunition vis defence contracts and US stockpiles, which the funds would then replenish, reported The New York Times. Additionally, the rest would pay for economic and operational assistance, intelligence and military logistical support, nuclear security programs, and resettling Ukrainian refugees.
He further added that USD 14.3 billion will be allocated to Israel, noting that the package would almost be used for defence contracts and facilitating the transfer of weapons and ammunition to Israel from US stockpiles. According to the White House, ammunition for the missile defence systems known as Iron Dome and David’s Sling, as well as Iron Beam, Israel’s ground-based laser air defence system, would be covered in the package.
Moreover, congressional leaders have said the package will also include precision-guided munitions, kits that turn regular bombs into precision weapons, and artillery shells, The New York Times reported. Adding to this, he highlighted that USD 13.6 billion will be used for border security, precisely, for more border patrol officers, immigration judges, shelters, and detention centres.
It also included over USD 1 billion for battling fentanyl trafficking. However, according to The New York Times, it does not include two key initiatives that Republicans want; funding to construct a border wall and changes to the way migrants seeking asylum are allowed into the country. Moreover, USD 9.15 billion aid will be allocated for humanitarian aid, stating that it will include assistance for Palestinian, Israeli, and Ukrainian civilians who have suffered the impact of the conflict.
However, the White House did not say how much assistance each group could expect to receive. Biden administration further asked USD 7.4 billion for Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific, highlighting that the funds which include military financing for Taiwan are meant to help counter the rising influence of China in the region, reported The New York Times.
Meanwhile, over USD 3 billion would go toward financing US submarine construction, while an additional USD 2 billion would be for development assistance. Another USD 2 billion is for foreign military financing, although it is not clear yet whether that money is exclusively for Taiwan or if it will be shared with other countries in the region.
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