Republican Senators Introduce Legislation To Provide Aid To Israel, Decouple Ukraine Funding

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Republican Senators introduced legislation Thursday to solely provide aid to Israel in the aftermath of the Hamas terrorist attacks, contrary to President Joe Biden’s request to tie Israel and Ukraine funding.

Biden asked Congress on Oct. 20 for a $105 billion package that combines aid for Israel and Ukraine, as well as funding to defend Taiwan from China and secure the southern border. The Israel Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2023, cosponsored by GOP Sens. Roger Marshall of Kansas, J.D. Vance of Ohio, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, would provide $14.3 billion to Israel, according to a press release.

“My colleagues and I firmly believe that any aid to Israel should not be used as leverage to send tens of billions of dollars to Ukraine. Any package that does so would result in funds and resources being delayed in Israel’s time of need,” Marshall said in a statement. “The legislation we’ve introduced provides the aid to Israel requested by the Biden Administration and should be considered by the Senate immediately.”

The legislation would designate $10.6 billion in assistance via the Department of Defense (DOD), $3.5 billion for foreign military funding and $200 million in diplomatic financing, according to the press release. (RELATED: ‘The Worst Thing For Israel’: House Republicans Quickly Dismiss Biden’s Latest Aid Package For Israel And Ukraine)

“It is essential that the United States provide support for our allies in Israel. That assistance should not depend on whether we continue to provide aid to Ukraine,” Vance said in a statement. “Despite what the president claims, they are unique conflicts that should be handled individually. Misguided attempts to combine them will only delay Israel receiving the support they need.”

US President Joe Biden holds a press conference following a solidarity visit to Israel, on October 18, 2023, in Tel Aviv, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Thousands of people, both Israeli and Palestinians have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip, entered southern Israel in a surprise attack leading Israel to declare war on Hamas in Gaza on October 8. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

US President Joe Biden holds a press conference following a solidarity visit to Israel, on October 18, 2023, in Tel Aviv, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas in the Gaza Strip. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been a strong advocate for Ukraine aid, appears supportive of Biden’s request, but will likely push for more border security provisions, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“Ukraine and Israel are distinct, important issues, and Congress should have the opportunity to consider and vote on prospective aid packages individually,” Lee said in a statement. “It is unreasonable for the administration to exploit an aid package for Israel to siphon off billions of taxpayer dollars in yet another blank check for Ukraine.”

Other Republican senators have also criticized Biden’s aid request as trying to use the war in Israel to push more funding for Ukraine as it fights against Russian aggression, including Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Mike Braun of Indiana and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming.

“Russia still needs to be defeated. Taiwan still needs to be defended. This bill is about one thing and one thing only: getting our Israeli allies the aid they need, as fast as possible, for as long as it takes them to utterly eradicate Hamas,” Cruz said in a statement.

Biden’s request has also come under fire by House Republicans, with Rep. Mike Garcia of California calling the package “the worst thing that could be done for Israel.”

Neither the White House nor McConnell immediately responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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