White House condemns attempts at ‘politicising’ Ukraine aid in Congress

The White House on Monday called on Congress to refrain from “demanding offsets” for approving additional funding for national security priorities, including Ukraine, as American lawmakers push for separating requests for assistance to Ukraine and Israel.

US House speaker Mike Johnson, who took up the post last week following a weeks-long hiatus among the Republican majority, earlier confirmed he intended to put the issues of aid to Ukraine and Israel separately.

Earlier this month, the Biden administration asked Congress to approve USD 106 billion in additional aid, including more than USD 61 billion for Ukraine and USD 14.3 billion for Israel, attacked by the Hamas terrorist group several weeks ago.

In a statement, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that “[p]oliticizing our national security interests is a nonstarter”, hinting at debates in Congress on approving separately additional security assistance for Israel.

“Demanding offsets for meeting core national security needs of the United States—like supporting Israel and defending Ukraine from atrocities and Russian imperialism—would be a break with the normal, bipartisan process and could have devastating implications for our safety and alliances in the years ahead,” Ms Jean-Pierre said.

“There is strong bipartisan agreement that it is in our direct national security interest to help Ukraine defend its sovereignty against appalling crimes being committed by Russian forces against thousands of innocent civilians—including attacking them with Iranian weapons,” she added.

The United States is by far the largest donor of military and financial support for Ukraine, having allocated approximately USD 45 billion in military equipment since Russia’s full-scale invasion last February.