Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken this week will make their case to lawmakers for the president’s $106 billion supplemental budget request for Ukraine and Israel aid, even as House members insist the package has little chance of becoming law.
The two Cabinet officials will testify before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday to answer questions about the White House spending plan, which also includes funds for the Navy to produce nuclear-powered submarines under the defense-sharing agreement with Australia and Britain.
Senate Democrats are expected to offer support for the plan, but Senate Republicans have already voiced concerns about the size and scope. And House Republican leaders have been resistant to the idea of additional money for Ukraine.
New House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has promised to take up legislation providing more military support for Israel but has so far declined to say whether he will do the same for Ukraine aid. The White House has said it has less than $5.5 billion in funds to continue transferring weapons from U.S. stockpiles to Ukrainian forces fighting Russia.
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.