The White House on Friday unveiled a national security-focused request for $106 billion in emergency supplemental funding in fiscal 2024 that officials say would support the defense of Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and the southern border.
It would also provide $10 billion in humanitarian assistance. Additionally, officials said the inclusion of $2 billion in financing for the developing world would support the mobilization of $200 billion from other sources — an effort to compete with Chinese international lending practices that U.S. officials have said are predatory.
President Joe Biden outlined his priorities in a speech Thursday night.
The combination of defense funds, humanitarian aid and border security funding is likely an attempt to circumvent partisan divides in Congress — most notably opposition among some House Republicans to further U.S. support of Ukraine.
House Appropriations Committee ranking member Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., urged lawmakers to support the funding package.
“Time is of the essence. American children and families, those affected by natural disasters, and our allies abroad do not have the luxury of waiting for our support,” DeLauro said in a statement.
The request includes $61.4 billion for Ukraine. Of those dollars, $30 billion would go toward replenishing Defense Department stocks of weapons and equipment, and the continued delivery of arms to Ukraine, according to budget documents released by the White House.
Another $14.4 billion would go directly to the Pentagon for continued military and intelligence support related to Ukraine’s war with Russia, now in its second year. The State Department would receive $16.3 billion, also for operations related to the war.
Also included in the request is $14.3 billion for Israel, now entering its third week of war with Hamas, a Sunni Islamist political and military group that the U.S. considers a terrorist organization.
The bulk of those funds, $10.6 billion, would go toward replenishing Israel’s air and missile defense systems, including its U.S.-funded Iron Dome missile interception platform that has been strained by constant rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip this month.
“We are requesting an increase in security assistance for Israel to help protect its people, as well as the many Americans who live in Israel and travel to Israel,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on a call with reporters.
The remaining $3.7 billion for Israel would be used by the State Department for foreign military financing and embassy support.
The package also includes $10 billion in humanitarian aid, according to a summary provided by the White House. The lion’s share, $9.15 billion, would be used across Israel, Ukraine, Gaza and elsewhere in the world as necessary.
Submarines, border, foreign financing
The White House also requested $3.4 billion to bolster the U.S. submarine industrial base — $3.3 billion for the DOD and $98 million for the National Nuclear Security Administration.
Those funds would go toward the Navy’s four public shipyards to increase production rates and submarine availability, and toward supporting U.S. commitments under AUKUS, a tripartite security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
In recent months, Republicans have expressed concern that the fiscal 2024 defense budget — in which spending is capped by the debt limit deal — won’t adequately fund the U.S. submarine industrial base, particularly given the new demands stemming from the AUKUS deal. Under the agreement, the U.S. would sell three Virginia-class attack submarines from its existing fleet to Australia in the early 2030s, among other things.
It remains to be seen whether the funding included in Friday’s request will be enough to alleviate those concerns.
The package also includes $2 billion for security assistance in the Indo-Pacific in the form of State Department foreign military financing, and $2 billion for the Treasury Department to provide an alternative to “coercive” financing currently provided to developing nations by China.
Finally, the request includes $13.6 billion for security and counter-drug trafficking measures along the U.S. southern border with Mexico.
According to the White House fact sheet, those funds would allow for the hiring of 1,300 additional border patrol agents, the deployment of 100 new inspection machines that can detect fentanyl at border entry points, an additional 1,000 law enforcement personnel, 1,600 new asylum officers and reimbursements for the DOD for its support along the border in fiscal 2024, among other things.
In a letter sent to House Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., director of the White House Office of Management and Budget Shalanda Young said congressional Republicans should “stop playing political games” with border security and provide law enforcement with the resources they need along the southwest border.
“The world is watching and the American people rightly expect their leaders to come together and deliver on these priorities. I urge Congress to address them as part of a comprehensive, bipartisan agreement in the weeks ahead,” Young said in the letter.