President Joe Biden declared it is “vital for America's national security” for Israel and Ukraine to succeed in their wars, making the case Thursday night for deepening U.S. involvement in two unpredictable foreign conflicts as he prepared to ask for billions of dollars in military assistance for both countries, APA reports citing the Associated Press.
If international aggression is allowed to continue, Biden said in a rare Oval Office address, “conflict and chaos could spread in other parts of the world.”
He said he would send an urgent funding request to Congress, which is expected to be roughly $100 billion over the next year. The proposal, which will be unveiled on Friday, includes money for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, humanitarian aid and border management, according to people familiar with the deliberations who declined to speak publicly ahead of the announcement.
“It’s a smart investment that’s going to pay dividends for American security for generations," Biden said.
Biden hopes that combining all of these issues into one piece of legislation will create the necessary political coalition for congressional approval. His speech comes the day after his high-stakes trip to Israel, where he showed solidarity with the country in its battle against Hamas and pushed for more humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Ahead of his address, Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to stress that the U.S. remained committed to backing Kyiv, the White House said. And a senior White House official said Biden continued to develop his remarks on Thursday after working with close aides throughout the week, including on his flight home from Israel. The official declined to be identified ahead of the president's speech.
Biden faces an array of steep challenges as he tries to secure the money. The House remains in chaos because the Republican majority has been unable to select a speaker to replace Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted more than two weeks ago.
In addition, conservative Republicans oppose sending more weapons to Ukraine as its battle against the Russian invasion approaches the two-year mark. Biden's previous request for funding, which included $24 billion to help with the next few months of fighting, was stripped out of budget legislation last month despite a personal plea from Zelenskyy.
The White House has warned that time is running out to prevent Ukraine, which recently struggled to make progress in a grueling counteroffensive, from losing ground to Russia because of dwindling supplies of weapons.
There will be resistance on the other side of the political spectrum when it comes to military assistance for Israel, which has been bombarding the Gaza Strip in response to the Hamas attack on Oct. 7.