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JD Vance circulates memo calling for Israel and Ukraine aid to be split up

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) supports the $105 billion President Biden has asked Congress to provide in emergency funding to countries including Israel and Ukraine, but some Republicans Lawmakers do not agree to link the two.

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) is skeptical about aid to Ukraine but has joined the latest push by lawmakers to fully support Israel’s war against the Islamic extremist group Hamas.

Vance began circulating a memo to senators on Monday titled “Distinguishing Ukraine from Israel.”

With more Republican senators speaking out against the giant package, a wrench could be thrown in to get it across the finish line. Moreover, the House of Representatives remains in chaos as it has not yet chosen a new Speaker.

Biden administration requests massive funding increase to support civilians in Ukraine, Israel and Gaza

Republican Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio speaks during a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on June 22, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“The administration is attempting to link Ukrainian and Israeli funding, a grave mistake that shows a lack of strategic focus. Each conflict is distinct and represents a different assertion of U.S. interests,” the memo said. ” is written.

Mr. Vance outlined five main points. 1) Israeli operations help ensure security in the Gaza Strip. The war in Ukraine endangers Europe’s security architecture and threatens global anarchy. 2) Political and military relations with Israel are qualitatively different from relations with Ukraine. 3) Israel has qualitatively different defense capabilities than Ukraine. 4) Israel has achievable goals. Ukraine is not like that. 5) The US does not have a plan in Ukraine, but it does have a plan in Israel.

Senate prepares Biden to send request for additional funding for Israel, Ukraine aid

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Israeli firefighters extinguish a fire at a site hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, Israel, October 9, 2023. (AP/Tsafril Abayov)

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“Israel has a clear plan, and we plan to do so by providing very specialized weapons that will enable Israel to carry out limited operations aimed at neutralizing the threat that Hamas poses to Israel. “There are clear tools to help achieve this. We have no such thing: a plan for a Russian-Ukrainian war,” Vance wrote in the memo.

He added: “Our support to Ukraine is not well-scoped or certain, and we are unable to provide financing for Ukrainian farmers, subsidies to small and medium-sized enterprises in Ukraine, or initial response in Ukraine.” “This includes payments to individuals,” he added.

Vance joins a growing chorus of Republican lawmakers who oppose combining the package. Instead, lawmakers want to break up the package and vote on it separately ahead of the Nov. 17 funding deadline.

Sen.Blackburn concerned about Biden’s request for more aid to Gaza after reports that Hamas had intercepted aid supplies

Biden and Zelensky in Kiev

President Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy walk next to St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kyiv, Ukraine, on February 20, 2023. (Reuters/Gleb Galanich)

In a letter sent Friday to McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-D., several Republican senators, including Vance, said, “These are two separate conflicts, and we do not support aid assistance. It is wrong to use it to resolve disputes.” Israel is crossing the finish line to get additional aid to Ukraine. ”

“Furthermore, it is irresponsible and we should not risk a government shutdown by bundling these priorities together, complicating the process and reducing the likelihood of funding,” the letter continued.

The funding proposal includes $61.4 billion for Ukraine. $14.3 billion to Israel ($10.6 billion of which was allocated to military aid); $13.6 billion for border security (including to combat fentanyl influx); Significant investments in Indo-Pacific security assistance total approximately $7.4 billion. In addition, $9 billion has been allocated for humanitarian aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Gaza.

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