Now that the US House of Representatives has finally, after four tries, elected a Speaker, business can resume in that chamber.
As all money bills by law must originate in the House and not in the Senate, one of the first pieces of business will be to take up President Joe Biden’s aid “package” that covers money for Ukraine and Israel as well as money for illegals in the United States and for other purposes.
It makes sense to scuttle the Biden aid package and break it into separate parts. Some of it can be funded (after careful review and clarification); some of it is dangerous and should be dropped by Congress.
The Biden proposal covers only one year of funding for Ukraine (and is in addition to hundreds of millions already in the pipeline for that country).
The Biden package is for an astonishing $110 billion. In one way or another, $61.4 billion will go to Ukraine or be used for operations supporting the Ukraine war, such as more funding for the Pentagon and additional money for intelligence.
An astonishing $16.3 billion would go for what the administration calls “economic security and operational assistance.” This money is earmarked to pay the ongoing salaries of Ukrainian civilian and military officials and to pay for their retirement. Nearly half a billion will go to pay for settling Ukrainians in the United States.
Biden is counting on support for Israel as the catalyst to carry Ukraine aid over the top on Capitol Hill. He is asking for $14.3 billion for Israel, although it isn’t clear how this amount was arrived at or what it covers. Furthermore, since the Gaza war continues and trouble is brewing on the West Bank, on the Lebanese border, and in Syria, needs are changing almost on a daily basis. It may be too soon to project what Israel will need.
It is worth noting that Israel never made an official request for money from the United States. It did ask for more Iron Dome interceptor missiles and for additional ammunition. The Israeli request was unclear whether it would be funded from existing foreign-assistance legislation, or directly paid for.
Biden is also asking for $10 billion for “humanitarian” assistance including $850 million for migration and refugee assistance. It isn’t clear what refugees the money is supposed to cover, nor is it self-evident why the United States should support refugees from Gaza or elsewhere in the Middle East.
No one has explained why it is in the US interest to take these people in, given the terrible track record of refugees from the Middle East in Europe. No doubt other Arab countries, or Iran, could take Palestinian refugees, but none of them are willing and none want the trouble that would result, sooner or later, after their arrival.
The truth is if the US takes Palestinian refugees in, many will turn out to be terrorists. Their bosses in Gaza and Iran will make sure that happens.
EDITORS NOTE: This Center for Security Policy column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.