Antony Blinken’s forceful testimony in the Senate’s first hearing on the supplemental request temporarily assuaged some White House allies. | Manuel Balce Ceneta/APThe Biden administration and Ukraine hawks in both parties are trying to break a wall of conservative resistance on Capitol Hill with a determined blitz to pass funding for the war in Ukraine and aid to Israel.
Collectively, the engagement underscores the degree to which both the White House and its allies are worried that the administration’s request — or at least something resembling it — won’t make it through Congress quickly. And it reflects the hurdles that come with divided government, in which intense opposition among a segment of House conservatives, and a smaller subset in the Senate, can quickly complicate a top agenda item for the president.
House Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-La.) decision, though, to muscle through an Israel-only bill that slashes key IRS funding sparked concern among lawmakers who generally believe emergency funding doesn’t need to be paid for or otherwise offsets. And centrists are worried about how Congress is going to clean up the messy politics of the moment. headtopics.com
But Blinken and Austin’s forceful testimony in the Senate’s first hearing on the supplemental request Tuesday — and the bipartisan support they got — temporarily assuaged some White House allies, who have been privately concerned about the funding package.
“They have made it very clear that Ukraine is just as important” as the Israel funding, said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said a group of Senate Republicans is closing in on a decision on a border policy demand that they hope to get into the package. He called the legislation “a single point of leverage” and expressed hope that there would be 41 Republican votes to block moving on any bill without border policy changes. headtopics.com
Biden’s Cabinet Secretaries Will Push Divided Congress on Israel, Ukraine AidDefense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken will make the case Tuesday that the United States should immediately send aid to Israel and Ukraine, testifying at a Senate hearing. Read more ⮕