“PWe need Congress to act. The president has made it clear that he will present Congress with an aid package for Ukraine and continued support for Israel,” said Jake Sullivan in an interview with the US network CBS.
When asked if the aid package would be worth $2 billion (€1.9 billion), as some local media reported, Sullivan replied: “The amount will be significantly higher than that.”
In the United States Congress there is broad bipartisan support to provide Israel with all the military aid it needs, as Democratic President Joe Biden promised after the October 7 attack by the Islamist movement Hamas, which led to a spiral of violence with thousands of victims.
However, the Republican Party is divided on aid to Kiev.
The majority of Republicans in the Senate, especially their leader, Mitch McConnell, are in favor of continuing to support Ukraine against Russia. But some Republicans in the Lower House, where lawmakers aligned with former President Donald Trump (2017-2021) have more power, oppose this idea.
Trump himself claims that no further aid should be given to Ukraine and has stated on several occasions that Europe should be the main provider of aid.
The Biden Government wants to take advantage of the fact that there is support from both parties for aid to Israel to link it with assistance to Ukraine and overcome the obstacles it has encountered so far in the Lower House.
Sullivan announced in the CBS interview that the administration has talks scheduled with Congress this week to support both countries.
However, there is an obstacle to the approval of any aid, which is the lack of a speaker of the House of Representatives, after the most radical faction of the Republican Party removed Kevin McCarthy on October 3rd.
Ultraconservative Jim Jordan, representative from Ohio and founder of the so-called “Freedom Caucus”, similar to Trump, was nominated on Friday to serve as speaker of the Lower House.
The vote to elect the president of the Lower House is scheduled for Tuesday, at around 12:00 local time (16:00 GMT), as reported today by the “number two” of the Democrats in that chamber, Katherine Clark.
While the Lower House decides its course, the Senate could be the first to pass an aid bill for Ukraine and Israel, according to Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who heads a congressional delegation visiting Tel Aviv. to show support for Israel.
“We are not waiting for the House. We believe that if the Senate acts in a bipartisan manner, the chances of the House acting, even with its current dysfunction, could improve,” Schumer said.
The United States is Israel’s biggest ally and has provided the most aid to it since World War II, having approved more than $4.4 billion in assistance in fiscal year 2023, according to a report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS).
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