Austin, Blinken to request joint aid package for Ukraine and Israel in Congress - Reuters
Antony Blinken, Joe Biden and Lloyd Austin (Photo: EPA, SARAH SILBIGER)

Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will ask Congress to approve a joint $106 billion package to support Ukraine, Israel and the security of the United States' borders, reports Reuters.

On October 20, US President Joe Biden called on Congress not to stop the supply of weapons to Ukraine. The White House has sent a request to Congress to allocate $106 billion in emergency funding to help Ukraine, Israel and strengthen US border security. In particular, $61.4 billion of them are intended for Ukraine. Earlier, the Ambassador of Ukraine to the USA, Oksana Markarova, explained where the funds would go.

Reuters journalists note that Austin and Blinken will testify today to the Appropriations Committee of the US Senate regarding Biden's corresponding request.

This morning, the new speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, introduced a bill on providing assistance to Israel in the amount of $14.3 billion, however this package omits unified support for Ukraine.

On September 30, 2023, both houses of the US Congress approved a budget resolution for funding for the next 45 days. It does not provide for new aid to Ukraine until November 17. While the Pentagon still has $5.2 billion to help Ukraine, it will suffice for about half a year.

On the evening of October 25, Johnson was elected Speaker of the House, supported by 220 congress members. He was congratulated by US President Biden who stressed the importance of continued assistance to Ukraine.

On the same day, the newly elected speaker of the House of Representatives said that he wants accountability for the aid to Ukraine for its continuation.

The National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said that this is "natural" and promised to provide Washington with all the information it needs.

On October 11, 2023, the United States announced a new $200 million aid package for the Armed Forces: it includes additional ammunition for HIMARS systems, artillery rounds, TOW anti-tank guided missiles, etc.