President Joe Biden on Wednesday said he plans to ask Congress for an “unprecedented support package for Israel’s defense” later this week.
Behind the scenes, the Biden administration is telegraphing to members of Congress they might request upwards of $100 billion in a national security supplemental package that would include increased aid to Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and include money for the US southern border, two sources familiar told CNN.
Three sources also told CNN that the administration has told Capitol Hill leaders that they might submit an official request by the end of the week.
The sources are cautioning that both the timing and amount could change as the resident is on a high-stakes trip to Israel, and as the president gets more information on the ground there. It’s also unclear how the package would be received in the House of Representatives as Republicans are still struggling to coalesce a speaker, and as there have been strong divisions within the Republican conference around providing more aid to Ukraine.
While the details have not been finalized, the upcoming supplemental request is expected to cover a full fiscal year of funding, two sources familiar with the plans said.
John Kirby, the National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, said Tuesday the request will likely come this week.
“I anticipate being able to make a supplemental request to Congress this week,” Kirby told reporters with Air Force One, adding that the White House is in “active conversations” with Congress about the contours of a request.
He said the White House is in “active conversations” with Congress about the contours of a request and that support for Ukraine and Israel were part of those active conversations, but declined to confirm a specific number.
“We have appropriations to help Ukraine for a little while longer. We have existing authorities and appropriations to help Israel for a little while longer. But by dint of the fact that neither of these conflicts show any sign of coming to closure anytime soon, we are absolutely going to need supplemental funding and support from Congress,” he told reporters on Air Force One.