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Israel-Hamas War

With a government shutdown averted, funding for Israel and Ukraine remains in the air

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Nov 17, 2023
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Earlier this month, the House of Representatives also passed a $14 billion aid package for Israel, with no funding for Ukraine. Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images
Israel-Hamas War

With a government shutdown averted, funding for Israel and Ukraine remains in the air

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Nov 17, 2023
Heard on:
Earlier this month, the House of Representatives also passed a $14 billion aid package for Israel, with no funding for Ukraine. Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images
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On Thursday night, President Joe Biden signed a temporary spending bill to stave off a government shutdown. Without it, the federal government would have shut down at midnight on Friday.

But that’s not the end of the story; Congress is still debating President Biden’s request for more aid for Israel and Ukraine.

Last month, the president asked Congress for about $105 billion in aid for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and border security.  

“Democrats want aid to Israel. Democrats want aid to Ukraine,” said Sarah Binder, a professor of political science at George Washington University. 

For Republicans opposed to more aid for Ukraine, “the price for their votes is immigration reform,” she added.

In fact, the House passed immigration legislation earlier this year. It would have restarted construction on the border wall and made it more difficult for migrants to get asylum in the U.S. — both nonstarters for Democrats. The House also passed a $14 billion aid package for Israel, with no money for Ukraine.

And now? “The ball is in the Senate’s court,” Binder said.

A bipartisan group of Senators is working on a compromise on immigration that would be included in a broader package of aid for Ukraine and Israel, which could be tacked onto a bigger bundle of spending bills.

“That could be in January, that could be in February,” said Binder.

Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer said that he hopes “we can come to a solution in the coming weeks.”

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