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Thursday, May 30, 2024

White House Threatens to Veto Standalone Israel Aid Package

'It's not going anywhere. As I said, it's dead almost before it's born...'

(Headline USA) The White House threatened this week to veto a standalone Israel funding bill proposed by House Republicans, demanding that Congress pass an emergency funding package that includes billions for Ukraine as well.

Newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., led the effort to separate an aid package for Israel from additional funding for Ukraine, arguing continued aid to Ukraine needs further debate and more robust oversight.

Johnson later appeared to clarify, however, that he did not oppose Ukraine aid outright, only the way the package was structured to be a prerequisit for aid to Israel, Politico reported.

In response, to the initial resistance, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget blasted House Republicans’ proposal in a statement as “bad for Israel, for the Middle East region, and for our own national security.” 

The House bill would provide at least $14.3 billion in aid to support Israel.

President Joe Biden, however, is demanding a $106 billion bill that includes not only the $14.3 billion in Israel aid, but also $61.4 billion for Ukraine and $100 million in humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians.

“Humanitarian aid is critically needed to alleviate the suffering of civilians in Gaza, but it is also crucial support for innocent Ukrainians facing the brutality of Putin’s war,” the OMB claimed, arguing that “conflict and extremism will be much more likely to spread” without humanitarian aid, which “will only benefit Hamas and other malign actors.”

Much of the so-called humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians is likely to wind up in the hands of the Hamas terrorist organization since it controls the government.

Questions likewise exist about where the money in Ukraine has been going and how well spent it is, with some intelligence sources suggesting that the war has, in fact, been over for months with Ukraine having effectively lost to Russia, but that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy refuses to negotiate any sort of peace agreement.

The illusion of war has been a lucrative proposition for him, funneling money from American taxpayers to cover Ukrainian pensions and salaries, as well as the super-yachts of Ukrainian oligarchs, by some accounts.

Zelenskyy also has asserted wartime powers, including the suspension of democratically run elections, pending a decisive victory in the conflict.

The White House also took issue with the fact that House Republicans’ bill would offset some of the cost of the Israel aid package by defunding parts of the Internal Revenue Service.

The OMB’s statement went on to say that if “the president were presented with this bill, he would veto it.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., also dismissed the House’s standalone bill was dead on arrival.

“It’s not going anywhere. As I said, it’s dead almost before it’s born,” Schumer said.

“Speaker Johnson and House Republicans released a totally unserious and woefully inadequate package that omitted aid to Ukraine, omitted humanitarian assistance to Gaza, no funding for the Indo-Pacific, and made funding for Israel conditional on hard-right, never-going-to-pass proposals,” he added. “What a joke.”

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