The Washington Post, referencing its own sources, reports that the White House is discussing the possibility of requesting Congress to approve additional financial support for Ukraine by attaching it to the urgent request for aid for Israel.
It is believed that this will increase the chances that Congress will pass funding for Ukraine in the face of current insufficient support from Republicans and the absence of a Speaker of the House.
“One official said such a move could make sense because it jams the far right in Congress, which is opposed to more Ukraine aid but supportive of aid to Israel,” the newspaper writes.
According to The Washington Post's sources, the joint funding package “could encourage some Republicans to vote positively because they would not want to block military aid to Israel.”
In fact, “this will increase the prospect that Congress will approve aid to Kyiv, despite growing opposition from Republicans in the US House of Representatives,” the media outlet surmises.
The official position of the Republicans
The Washington Post cited several official statements from Republican Party representatives which were less sanguine about the prospect of the joint funding package.
“Absolutely not,” said Republican Elise Stefanik.
Republican congressman and previously a supporter of Ukraine, Kelly Armstrong, said that he “would need to see more information on how funds sent to Ukraine are being spent, and warned the White House against using Israel funding as a vehicle for Ukraine aid.”
However, the newspaper notes that “no final decisions regarding the joint requests have yet been made.”
What help has Israel requested?
During a phone call on Oct. 9, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US President Joe Biden that Israel would have no choice but to launch a ground operation into Gaza. He said this is because “in the Middle East it is forbidden to show weakness,” and therefore Israel must “respond with great force.”
“We respond to force with great force. We must restore deterrence,” Netanyahu said.
Israeli authorities have applied to Washington with several specific requests, in particular, the restocking of interceptor missiles for its “Iron Dome” air defense system, small-diameter bombs, ammunition for machine guns as well as increased cooperation on the exchange of intelligence related to potential military activity in southern Lebanon.
The Washington Post writes that the joint request for military aid to Ukraine and Israel could increase the strain on US stockpiles if they attempt to support two countries at the same time. In addition, Israel's request for the supply of 155-millimeter high-explosive artillery rounds, in particular, “may cause irritation among supporters of Ukraine, as this ammunition is in short supply and urgently required by Kyiv.”
Valeriy Chaly, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the US from 2015 to 2019, said in an interview with Kyiv Post that currently more than $5 billion remain for military aid to Ukraine under various programs from within the existing Presidential Drawdown Authority mechanism, of which $1.6 billion was set aside specifically for armaments.
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