Biden to deliver Oval Office speech as he seeks aid for Israel, Ukraine | ET REALITY


President Biden will deliver a prime-time speech Thursday on the war in Ukraine and terrorist attacks in Israel as his administration prepares to ask Congress to approve tens of billions of dollars in military aid for the two nations in conflict.

The speech will mark the second time Biden has delivered formal remarks from the Oval Office since taking office. In June, he spoke from behind the Resolute Desk about a bipartisan deal to avoid defaulting on the nation’s debt, a deal that House Republicans later abandoned.

In Thursday’s speech, Biden will address the American response to two serious struggles that he says threaten democratic stability around the world: the war that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year and the one that began this month after of the brutal Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.

A senior White House official said Biden will seek to present to the American people a broad explanation of why two wars half a world away are critical to U.S. national security.

The official, who asked not to be identified to discuss planning for the president’s speech, said the purpose of the speech is for the president to reflect on the events of recent weeks in Israel and the 600 days Ukraine has been fighting since the fall of Russia. invasion.

In a whirlwind visit to Israel on Tuesday, Biden said he would soon “ask the United States Congress for an unprecedented support package for Israel’s defense.” He said the request would help supply Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system with the ammunition it needs to protect Israelis from missiles.

The White House official said Biden was not expected to reveal specific details about the funding request from Congress. The administration will provide more details on Friday, the official said.

Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser, said this week that the request for aid to Israel would be made alongside another request for more military equipment for Ukraine, which has been fighting to reclaim territory Russia seized in the intervening 20 months. since the war. began.

“The president has made clear that he will go to Congress with a funding package for Ukraine as well as continued support for Israel,” Sullivan said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

The White House has provided few details about the scope of aid it will request for Israel and Ukraine. But several people familiar with the plan say Biden is expected to ask Congress in the coming days to approve about $100 billion in emergency funding to arm Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan and strengthen the U.S.-Mexico border. .

Thursday’s speech could be an opportunity to unite Republicans and Democrats behind support for both Israel and Ukraine, something that has traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support. Biden’s opening speech in which he condemned Hamas following its Oct. 7 attacks drew widespread praise from members of both parties in the United States.

But that bipartisanship may be tested when the president formally asks Congress for money to help finance the fighting. Some Republicans had already begun to question the need for the United States to continue aid to Ukraine. And a small but vocal group of Democratic lawmakers fiercely opposes more aid to Israel.

The president will have to overcome a series of ideological differences if he seeks all the aid in a single vote in Congress. And as of Wednesday night, House Republicans had yet to elect a president, leaving that chamber, and the entire Congress, in legislative limbo and without the power to act on any requests Biden makes. .

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