House Republicans, led by Speaker Mike Johnson, are strongly opposing President Biden’s $106 billion package of aid for Ukraine, Israel, and undocumented immigrants. Representative Mike Garcia of California hand-delivered a report to President Biden outlining GOP demands before any more taxpayer money is allocated for the war in Eastern Europe. The report highlights the need for answers to twelve questions regarding Biden’s strategy for the war, including how he and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy plan to win and how long it will take. Garcia believes that failure to address these questions and continuing to provide aid without proper oversight will result in a Ukrainian defeat and increased Chinese aggression.
In addition to opposing aid for Ukraine, Representative Dan Crenshaw of Texas is pressuring Speaker Johnson to negotiate for stricter border policies, alongside the billions of dollars requested to assist migrants crossing into the U.S. Johnson has emphasized that aid for Ukraine and Israel’s conflict with Hamas will not be bundled together, as Biden has proposed.
Biden’s emergency funding package includes aid for Israel, Ukraine, and the U.S. border. The majority of the funding, $60 billion, is allocated to Ukraine, while $14 billion is designated for Israel. Aid for Israel’s fight against Hamas is more widely supported among House Republicans and would likely pass with a strong bipartisan vote.
There has been growing skepticism among Republicans regarding additional aid for Ukraine, considering the U.S. has already provided over $75 billion for the fight against Russian invaders. Garcia’s report demands estimates of the cost of a winning strategy, regular updates on progress in the war, explanations of the necessity of future U.S. investments in Ukraine, and potential consequences if funding were to be halted.
The report has been co-signed by Representatives Crenshaw, August Pfluger of Texas, Jack Bergman of Michigan, Brad Wenstrup of Ohio, and Jen Kiggans of Virginia. They also argue that humanitarian aid should be removed from the current and future funding requests, and funding should focus on enabling the defense forces with munitions and advanced weaponry.
A significant portion of Biden’s request, $9.15 billion, is intended for humanitarian aid to Ukraine, Israel, and civilians in Gaza. However, it is not specified how much of this money will be allocated to Ukraine. The lawmakers argue that blending military aid with humanitarian aid creates a dependence on American taxpayers and hampers victory on the battlefield.
Biden’s request also includes $14 billion for efforts on the U.S. southern border, with the hope of attracting Republican support. However, Republicans express concern that the funds will primarily assist undocumented immigrants rather than secure the border. Speaker Johnson is expected to push for tougher border policies in exchange for increased aid to Ukraine, utilizing the House’s Secure the Border Act, which has passed in the House but has not been considered by the Senate.