White House officials are considering asking Congress for an aid package primarily aimed at supporting Ukraine and Israel that could cost as much as $100 billion, although that preliminary estimate may change as planning remains in flux, according to four people briefed on the matter.
In conversations with congressional staffers, Biden aides have discussed proposing as soon as this week a major foreign policy package amid numerous international crises, including the war between Hamas and Israel.
The legislation is also expected to include substantial funds to bolster U.S. immigration enforcement at the southern border with Mexico, and may include funds for Taiwan to deter aggression from China, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reflect private conversations. Money to respond to recent U.S. natural disasters, including wildfires in Maui and various hurricanes, could also be folded into the legislation.
Aides stressed that the plans were highly uncertain and subject to change. President Biden previously proposed roughly $20.4 billion in funding for Ukraine, but Congress blocked any additional money for Ukraine when it extended government funding into November.
“It’s going to make a strong statement to our enemies and to our friends,” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said about the proposed aid package.
One person, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations, said the request would cover a full fiscal year for the crises it is intended to address.
Democratic leaders said they expect to receive the proposal at the end of this week.
“We intend to get the package at the end of this week and it will include the military help Israel needs, the diplomatic and intelligence help Israel needs, as well as humanitarian aid to minimize the loss of innocent human life, of Palestinians and of Israelis,” Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters.
The effort comes as House Republicans struggle to elect a new speaker, which could complicate efforts to pass any bill swiftly. House Republicans have grown increasingly wary of providing taxpayer funds to Kyiv, but may be more likely to do so if a request also includes money for the border and Israel.
Bloomberg reported earlier that White House officials were considering a $100 billion request in the aid package. It was unclear how much money would be included for each country.
A White House spokeswoman declined to comment.