Biden threatens veto of U.S. House's standalone Israel aid bill

By Patricia Zengerle

(Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden‘s admninistration said on Monday he would veto a standalone bill backed by House of Representatives Republicans that would provide aid to Israel, as it backs a broader bill providing assistance to Ukraine and Israel and providing new funds for border security.

“The Administration strongly encourages both chambers of the Congress to reject this political ploy and instead quickly send the bipartisan Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act to the President’s desk,” the Office of Management and Budget said in a statement.

Officials from the Democratic president’s administration have been working for months with Senate Democrats and Republicans on legislation unveiled on Sunday combining billions of dollars in emergency aid for Ukraine, Israel and partners in the Indo-Pacific region, with an overhaul of U.S. immigration policy.

Republican House leaders said days before its release on Sunday night that they would reject the bipartisan Senate bill, and instead vote on a bill proiding aid only to Israel.

The Republican-majority House passed an Israel-only bill in November, but it was never taken up in the Democratic-led Senate, as members worked on Biden’s request for Congress to approve the broader emergency security package.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; additional reporting by Eric Beech and Costas Pitas; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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