President Biden's supplemental defense spending proposal includes about $14 billion to bolster Israel's security after Hamas gunmen carried out a widespread attack throughout southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing hundreds of civilians. The president's spending proposal links that aid for Israel to a request to provide an additional $61 billion in military support for Ukraine.
Calls to bolster Israel’s defenses have received broad bipartisan support after Hamas terrorists killed hundreds of civilians in southern Israel on Oct. 7. On the other hand, Republicans are increasingly divided over continued efforts to prop up the Ukrainian military in its ongoing war with neighboring Russia.
"We shouldn't combine them? They should be separate; two different issues altogether," Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) told NTD News on Thursday. "Obviously, with Israel, they're our greatest ally in the region. They are our closest friend in the world. So no, they need to take care of them first, get that out of the way. With respect to Ukraine, members have serious issues about what's the scope? What's the plan? What's the President's view on how long we're going to be doing this?"
Like Mr. Donalds, Rep Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas) also cast support for Israel and Ukraine as two separate issues, with the support for Ukraine warranting new scrutiny after the support the United States has already provided.
"I think they're two totally different wars, two totally different budgets," Ms. Van Duyne told NTD News. "We have already sent considerable dollars over to Ukraine that we would love to find out, you know, how those monies have been spent?"
Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-N.Y.) indicated he's not necessarily opposed to supporting both Israel and Ukraine, but said each country's conflict warrants different considerations.
Some Republicans Open to Bundling Israel and Ukraine AidNot all Republicans are opposed to new funding for Ukraine and shared no concern about the president's plan to tie the issue to the recent fighting in Israel.
Rep. Maria Salazar (R-Fla.) told NTD News that the war in Ukraine and the new Israel-Hamas conflict are both issues warranting U.S. attention, and she sees no problem combining them.
"Whether we do them separately or combined, we've got to help both situations," she said. "We cannot abandon Ukraine because that will send a very, very nefarious and dangerous message to Vladimir Putin that we are out of business ... these are regional wars that we've got to help. Otherwise, it can become a bigger, bigger conflict."
In an interview with CBS News on Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) went so far as to say it would be a "mistake" to pass aid for Israel separate from the Ukraine-related aid.
"I know there are some Republicans in the Senate and maybe more in the House that think Ukraine is somehow different. I view it as all interconnected," Mr. McConnell added.