Sen. Tom Cotton declares Biden's supplemental aid request 'dead on arrival'
During an Oval Office address last week, President Joe Biden declared his intention to ask Congress for an emergency supplemental funding package that would include aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Gaza as well as funds to bolster security at the country's southern border, but according to one prominent Republican lawmaker, that request is “dead on arrival,” according to Breitbart.
The day after Biden's speech to the nation, the president's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sent the formal ask to Congress, where it is expected to face an uphill battle, just as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has warned.
Costly request made
In submitting the request Friday morning, OMB Director Shalanda Young said in a letter to lawmakers, “Over the coming weeks, the administration looks forward to continued engagement with members of both parties to reach a comprehensive, bipartisan agreement to fund the government and invest in critical national priorities.”
“As part of that process, the Congress has an opportunity and obligation to advance our national security by addressing critical needs that should earn bipartisan support,” Young added, according to Fox News.
To that end, according to sources, the White House is seeking a total of $105 in the supplemental package.
That sum is comprised of $61.4 billion earmarked for Ukraine, $14.3 slated for Israel, $13.6 billion targeted for the southern border, $7.4 billion in Indo-Pacific security investments, and $9 billion for humanitarian aid that would include resources intended for Gaza amid the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Cotton: Package DOA
During a Friday appearance on Fox News' Hannity, Cotton said that any aid package involving funds for Gaza would face real hurdles in the upper chamber.
The lawmaker explained, “Sean, if I have anything to do with it, it will be dead on arrival. And I think that's the emerging position among Republicans in the Senate,” later adding, “I think we need to support Israel. We got to control our southern border, obviously. We need to reinforce Taiwan, and we can provide needed military aid to Ukraine.”
Cotton went on, “But as you say, that's not what Joe Biden's proposals do. It provides $3.5 billion of potential so-called humanitarian aid to Gaza, which we know under current conditions is little more than resupply for Hamas terrorists....”
Those sentiments were echoed by other Republicans on Capitol Hill, some of whom wish to offer wholehearted support to Israel but are concerned about other provisions of Biden's package and therefore prefer to vote on separate aid packages.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told Fox News Digital, “There is an immediate responsibility on Congress to make sure Israel has what it needs to defend itself, and to hold that aid hostage by linking it with a myriad of other issues...is irresponsible.”
Whether such concerns will win the day and convince Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to heed colleagues' requests and push for discrete consideration of each funding priority, only time will tell.