The White House is warning urgent military aid to Israel could face delays amid Republican infighting that has crippled the House of Representatives, leaving the chamber without a speaker and halting all legislative business.
In an interview with The Dispatch, John Kirby—President Joe Biden’s chief spokesman for national security matters—said Israel could require a fresh resupply of munitions from the United States in a matter of “weeks” as the Jewish state undertakes military operations to neutralize Hamas. Kirby said this auxiliary aid package requires congressional authorization, which is why House Republicans’ struggle to elect a speaker and get the chamber back to work is concerning the White House.
“The speakership is incredibly important because without a speaker of the House, you can’t bring new legislation to the floor, you can’t schedule votes, and of course, that’s what we’re going to need here,” Kirby said in a telephone interview late Friday. “Supplemental funding is going to require legislation, so obviously, a speaker’s important.”
Israel receives billions of dollars in U.S. aid annually.