National security spokesperson John Kirby on Thursday made clear that President Biden would veto a bill that includes only funding for Israel’s war against Hamas if it were sent to his desk instead of a combination aid package he’s proposed that would also help Ukraine.
“The president would veto an Israel-only bill. I think we have made that clear,” Kirby said when pressed on if Biden would be against a clean Israel funding bill.
House Republicans have unveiled a bill that would provide $14.3 billion in aid for Israel, in exchange for cuts to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that were one of several hallmarks of the president’s Inflation Reduction Act. The House plans to vote on the measure later Thursday.
The White House has previously said Biden would veto that package, but Kirby’s comments suggest Biden would veto any package that only funds Israeli’s battle against Hamas, the militant group that carried out terrorist attacks Oct. 7, and not other aid as well.
Officials have said there doesn’t need to be offsets to pass a supplemental funding bill and, in its earlier veto threat, asserted the GOP proposal marks a break from bipartisan precedent by seeking funding cuts as part of an emergency national security package.
The White House last month outlined a roughly $106 billion national security supplemental funding request that included money for Israel and Ukraine, which is fighting off invading Russian forces, as well as investments in the Indo-Pacific, humanitarian aid and border security measures.
Kirby emphasized Thursday that Biden “wants to see all of them honored,” referring to all the priorities in that package. The White House has said for weeks that aid for Israel and Ukraine should be linked and are both priorities for the president.
Source: The Hill