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The Hill: Biden would veto GOP's Israel stand-alone aid package without funding for Ukraine

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 1, 2023 8:52 AM 2 min read
U.S. President Joe Biden addresses the nation from the Oval Office of the White House on Oct. 19, 2023. (Jonathan Ernst - Pool/Getty Images)
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U.S. President Joe Biden would likely veto a bill put forward by House Republicans to provide aid to Israel without including funding for Ukraine and other priorities, The Hill reported on Oct. 31, citing the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

"This bill is bad for Israel, for the Middle East region, and for our own national security," the OMB said.

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby also implied that the White House would oppose the plan, though not saying explicitly whether Biden would use his veto powers to block it.

"I think we've been very clear... how deeply concerning this House Republican bill is and how it doesn't meet our national security means and meet needs," Kirby said at a press briefing.

"And as commander in chief, the president's never going to do anything that doesn't meet our key national security needs."

The White House's $106 billion funding bill, which includes $14.3 billion for Israel and $61.4 billion for Ukraine, among other items, has been held up for weeks by infighting in the Republican-led House of Representatives.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, a close ally of ex-President Donald Trump, unveiled a $14.3 billion standalone spending bill only for Israel. It also included cuts to the U.S.'s Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which would make it difficult to gain support from Democrats.

The White House responded by criticizing the proposed bill for "politicizing national security."

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and State Secretary Antony Blinken voiced similar positions in their comments to the Senate, pushing Congress to take a broadly unified position and approve the full bill.

The proposal by Johnson and other Republicans is likely to encounter opposition in the Senate, as leaders of both parties in the upper chamber voiced doubts about the plan. To become law, the bill would have to pass both the House and the Senate and be signed by Biden.

‘We can’t allow Putin to prevail,’ says Speaker Johnson after being elected, but his track record says opposite
Representative Mike Johnson, elected speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 25, has been deemed bad news for Ukraine. Johnson regularly voted against aid for Ukraine and was backed by the Ukraine-skeptic hard-right in his bid for speakership after the weeks-long scramble to replace th…

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