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New US House speaker says aid to Ukraine, Israel should be split

Instead, US President Joe Biden wants Congress to allocate $106 billion in additional funding in one aid package to the two countries. 

New US House speaker says aid to Ukraine, Israel should be split
Photo: EPA/UPG

Newly elected US House Speaker Mike Johnson said on Thursday that funding to support Ukraine and Israel should be handled separately, suggesting he will not back President Joe Biden's $106bn aid package for both countries, Reuters reports.

In an interview with Fox News, Johnson said he has concerns about Ukraine funding in general, and believes any money for Israel will need to be funded by cuts elsewhere.

He met Biden on Thursday and said he told White House staff "our consensus among House Republicans is we need to bifurcate those issues."

Biden wants Congress to provide $106 billion in supplemental funding, with the bulk of the money going to bolster Ukraine's defence and the remainder split between Israel, Indo-Pacific and border enforcement.

Johnson said of Ukraine funding: "We want to know what the object is there, what is the end game in Ukraine.

"The White House has not provided that," he added.

Biden is betting that including money for Israel and immigration will help convince House Republicans wary of sending additional money to Ukraine to support the measure.

"Israel is a separate matter – we are going to bring forward a standalone Israel funding measure (of) over $14 billion,” Johnson said in the interview. He said House Republicans will look for other areas to cut in the budget in order to finance the funding for Israel.

The package includes $14.3 billion for Israel to fund air and missile defense support and other initiatives, as well as $61 billion for Ukraine. 

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