Biden addresses the nation asking Congress for funds for Israel, Ukraine

WASHINGTON DC - OCTOBER 19: U.S.  President Joe Biden addresses the nation from the Oval Office of the White House on October 19, 2023 in Washington, DC. President Biden discussed the U.S.’s response to the Hamas-Israel conflict, humanitarian assistance in Gaza, and the continued support for Ukraine during Russia’s ongoing invasion. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst - Pool/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden delivered a prime-time foreign policy speech on Thursday night from the Oval Office.

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Biden said he will be sending an “urgent budget request” to Congress on Friday to help support both Israel and Ukraine to “fund America’s national security needs to support our critical partners, including Israel and Ukraine,” CNN reported.

Biden’s request is expected to be around $105 billion over the next year, according to The Associated Press. The proposal will be released on Friday and will include money for Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan, humanitarian aid and border management.

The proposal will include $60 billion for Ukraine, according to the AP, $14 billion for Israel, $10 billion for humanitarian efforts, $14 billion for managing the United States - Mexico border and fighting fentanyl trafficking plus $7 billion for the Indo-Pacific area that includes Taiwan.

According to The New York Times, Biden did not mention that the House is continuing to search for a speaker, nor how that could affect his budget request.

“It’s a smart investment that’s going to pay dividends for American security for generations,” he said Thursday evening during a speech from the Oval Office, according to CNN. “Help us keep American troops out of harm’s way. Help us build a world that is safer, more peaceful, more prosperous for our children and grandchildren.”

“I’m heartbroken by the tragic loss of Palestinian life, including the explosion at the hospital in Gaza, which was not done by the Israelis, he said, according to CNN. “We mourn every innocent life lost. We can’t ignore the humanity of innocent Palestinians who only want to live in peace and have an opportunity.”

American leadership is what holds the world together. Our alliances are what keep us safe. And our values are what make us a partner that other nations want to work with. We put all of that at risk if we walk away from Ukraine or turn our back on Israel,” Biden said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“History has taught us that when terrorists don’t pay a price for their terror, when dictators don’t pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction,” Biden said in his address, according to the Times.

The security package that he is requesting from Congress will “sharpen Israel’s military edge,” Biden said, according to the Times. The funding will help replenish the Iron Dome missile defense system and will include $14 billion in security aid for Israel.

“As I told the families of Americans being held captive by Hamas, we’re pursuing every avenue to bring their loved ones home,” he said, according to CNN. “As president, there is no higher priority for me than the safety of Americans held hostage.”

Biden denounced antisemitism as well as Islamophobia.

“I see you. You belong. And I want to say this to you — you’re all Americans. We reject all forms of hate.”

“Hamas and Putin represent different threats, but they share this in common: They both want to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy,” Biden said.

The address comes after the president spent eight hours in Israel on Wednesday, meeting with government officials and some of the families of those taken hostage during Hamas’ attack on Israel on Oct.7. Israel declared war against Hamas after the attack.

The Kiel Institute for the World Economy reported that since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the White House and Congress have provided more than $75 billion in funding to Ukraine. That number does not include all war-related U.S. spending, such as aid to allies.

The United States has given Israel more than $260 billion in combined military and economic aid since the country was established in 1948, according to a U.S. News analysis. The U.S. has provided another $10 billion to fund missile defense systems like the Iron Dome.

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