By Kyle Anzalone / Antiwar.com
On Friday, the White House rolled out its proposed $105 billion bill to arm Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. The legislation also includes funding for the border and humanitarian assistance. US officials say over $50 billion will go to American weapons manufacturers.
The Biden administration is proposing a massive aid package as it has struggled to get Congress to appropriate more funds for the proxy war in Ukraine. The largest portion of money is for Ukraine at $61.4 billion. The White House wants enough money for Ukraine to fund Kiev through the 2024 election.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan described the aid as critical to American national security and demanded Congress pass the bill. “This budget request is critical to advancing America’s national security and ensuring the safety of the American people,” Sullivan said. “The world is closely watching what Congress does next.”
Israel will receive $14.3 billion in assistance, with $10.6 billion for air and missile defense support.The aid would be in addition to the $3.8 billion Tel Aviv from Washington in security assistance annually.
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Biden announced the legaltion in a speech on Thursday night, “American leadership is what holds the world together. American alliances are what keep us in America safe. American values are what make us a partner nation you want to work with.” He continued,”to put all that at risk – we walk away from Ukraine, we turn our backs on Israel – it’s just not worth it. That’s why tomorrow I’m going to send to Congress an urgent budget request to fund America’s national security needs – needs to support our critical partners, including Israel and Ukraine.”
The bill includes $7.4 billion for several initiatives to increase Washington’s military posture in the Indo-Pacific. That includes $2 billion in grants for foreign governments to buy American weapons. Taiwan will receive a portion of that money, although US officials did not provide a detailed breakdown.
Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Shalanda Young, explained that nearly half of the money will go to American arms makers. “This supplemental request invests over $50 billion in the American defense industrial base, ensuring our military continues to be the most ready, capable, and best-equipped fighting force the world has ever seen,” she said.
Young claimed that the spending would bolster the American economy and create jobs. However, a study indicated that military spending costs more jobsthan it creates.
Additionally, $14 billion will go towards border security. The White House claimed it was needed to “keep the southwest border secure and stop the flow of fentanyl.” A portion of those funds will go towards hiring thousands of law enforcement officers.
A small number of Republican represenatives have hindered Congress from passing additional funds for Ukraine. The Biden administration hopes to push several GOP members of Congress to vote for the bill by combining funding for Taiwan, Israel, and the border with Ukraine.