Biden Says He'd Veto Stand-Alone Bill Giving $17.6 Billion To Israel

The House's efforts are a “cynical political maneuver,” Biden's administration said.

President Joe Biden’s administration said Monday that if Congress sends him a national security bill singularly focused on funding Israel, he will veto it.

The legislation moving through the House proposes sending $17.6 billion to Israel, separating the funds from other national security issues in Ukraine and along the U.S. border. Pushing this forward is a “cynical political maneuver” and akin to playing “a political game,” the White House’s Office of Management and Budget said in a statement Monday.

“The Administration strongly opposes this ploy which does nothing to secure the border, does nothing to help the people of Ukraine defend themselves against [Russian leader Vladimir] Putin’s aggression, fails to support the security of American synagogues, mosques, and vulnerable places of worship, and denies humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians, the majority of whom are women and children,” Biden’s administration said.

H.R. 7217, the legislation spearheaded by Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), conflicts with bipartisan efforts in the Senate to pass broader funding, the White House said.

“The Administration spent months working with a bipartisan group of Senators to reach a national security agreement that secures the border and provides support for the people of Ukraine and Israel, while also providing much-needed humanitarian assistance to civilians affected by conflicts around the world,” the office said.

The Senate’s bill includes $20 billion for border security, $60 billion in funding for Ukraine and $14.1 billion for Israel in its fight against the militant group Hamas.

When reached for comment, Calvert said that he was disheartened by Biden’s announcement.

“I believe there is broad, bipartisan support for standing with Israel and supporting them in their campaign to protect its civilians from those responsible for the October 7th attack,” he said in a written statement, referring to a Hamas-led assault on the country last year that killed around 1,200 people and included the capture of hostages.

“I am disappointed by the President’s veto statement but I am hopeful that, for the sake of the American and Israeli hostages, the safety of our troops in the region and for our ally Israel, he will have a change of heart when the bipartisan bill comes to his desk.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said over the weekend that the House had no choice but to take action because the Senate has excluded House members from its negotiations.

“As I have said consistently for the past three months, the House will have to work its will on these issues and our priorities will need to be addressed,” he said in a letter to House members, according to The Associated Press.


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