White House asks Congress for $106 billion to fund plans for Israel, Ukraine

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The White House on Friday asked Congress for nearly $106 billion to fund ambitious plans for Ukraine, Israel and US border security, but offered no strategy for securing the money from a broken Congress.

US President Joe Biden’s request for the funding comes days after he visited Israel and pledged solidarity as the country bombards Gaza - killing over 4,000 Palestinians - following an attack by Hamas militants that killed 1,400 people in southern Israel.

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By grouping Israel funding with Ukraine, border security, refugee assistance, measures to counter China and other hotly debated priorities, Biden is hoping he has created a must-pass national security spending bill that can win support in a chaotic House of Representatives.

The chamber, which Republicans won control of last year, has been without a leader for more than two weeks.

Some Republican lawmakers have grown skeptical of the need to fund Ukraine’s war with Russia, and have threatened to halt government altogether to put an end to debt-fueled fiscal spending.

“The world is watching and the American people rightly expect their leaders to come together and deliver on these priorities,” said Biden’s budget director, Shalanda Young, in a letter to acting House speaker Patrick McHenry. “I urge Congress to address them as part of a comprehensive, bipartisan agreement in the weeks ahead.”

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