Top congressional lawmakers are beginning to receive details of a new funding package the Biden administration is expected to submit to Congress this week.
While it’s not yet finalized, the supplemental funding package is likely to seek $60 billion for Ukraine, a lawmaker and two sources with knowledge of the request said. The rest of the request will include roughly $40 billion to provide aid to Israel, Taiwan and the U.S.-Mexico border.
The total supplemental funding request, which is expected to be for the fiscal year that ends next September, will total around $100 billion, said four sources directly involved in the process.
NBC News reported Tuesday that the administration plans to submit the roughly $100 billion supplemental funding request to Congress in the coming days. Top lawmakers could be made aware of the contours of the request as soon as Wednesday, a lawmaker and a congressional aide with knowledge of the matter said.
Congressional Republicans, particularly those wary about sending more aid to Ukraine, argue the U.S. needs to replenish munitions that have been sent to Europe and that the supplemental funding for Ukraine might help quell some of those concerns because some of the funds could be used for replenishment, three of the sources said. While the money for munitions is expected to be attached to the Ukraine funding request, these sources said the weapons could be used for various purposes, with the Middle East as a point of discussion.
Republicans have become increasingly divided over whether to continue U.S. aid to Ukraine in its war with Russia. The U.S. has so far provided more than $75 billion in military, humanitarian and financial aid to Kyiv, and the Biden administration has asked Congress for billions more.
The Biden administration is expected to formally submit the $100 billion supplemental request Friday, according to the sources.
The timing remains fluid, but a possible reason some details could come Wednesday is that the administration would want to catch senators while they’re still in town, said a lawmaker and an aide. A bipartisan Senate delegation to the Middle East, led by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is expected to leave at the end of the week, and the Senate isn’t expected to be in session Friday.
President Joe Biden said Wednesday, a day after a deadly Gaza hospital blast that has fueled protests across the Middle East, that he was preparing to ask Congress for an “unprecedented support package for Israel’s defense” during his trip to Tel Aviv. As anger spread across the region, Biden’s planned meeting with Arab leaders in Jordan was canceled.
The Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry said 471 people were killed in what it called a “targeted” Israeli bombing of al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in central Gaza.
Israel officials have blamed the blast on a Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket that misfired, and U.S. national security officials said they support those findings. Members of the House and Senate intelligence committees were briefed about the incident Wednesday, with leaders of both committees echoing the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion.
Biden on Wednesday also announced $100 million in new U.S. funding for humanitarian aid to both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
More than 3,400 people have been killed and more than 12,500 have been injured in Gaza since Hamas’ terrorist attack in Israel on Oct. 7. In Israel, 1,400 people have been killed and 3,500 have been wounded as a result of the ongoing war.
Source: NBC News