“We are looking at specific additional requests that the Israelis have made. I think you’re likely to hear more about that later today,” Blinken told CNN.
Any requests for additional aid for Israel will immediately run headlong into the dysfunction enveloping the House, which would need to approve extra funding. As former Speaker Kevin McCarthy noted on Saturday, “There is nothing the House can do until they elect a speaker, and I don’t know if that happens quickly.”
Biden on Sunday directed additional support for Israel “in the face of this unprecedented terrorist assault by Hamas,” the White House said in a Sunday statement. The president and Vice President Kamala Harris were briefed on Sunday morning by their national security team on the situation in Israel, and will continue to receive updates, according to the statement.
The president has directed his team to do everything possible to support Israel in the conflict, said the U.S. official.
“They told us, ‘tell us what you need, you will get it,’” said the second person familiar with the discussions.
One option the White House may be considering is to release a little-known stockpile of American ammunition stored in Israel. The weapons are intended for the U.S. to use in Middle East conflicts, but the U.S. has also allowed Israel to access the ammunition in emergencies.
While the U.S. sent some of that ammunition to Ukraine to help it repel Russian invaders, there is still enough left in the stockpile for Israel, the U.S. official said.
A Pentagon spokesperson declined to comment on any new announcements.
The U.S. official said the administration does not anticipate that any military assistance to Israel will impact its ability to continue to send weapons to Ukraine, as the two countries use different systems.
While the U.S. has sent significant amounts of military aid to Ukraine, it has also deliberately made sure it has enough in its own stockpiles to protect itself and its allies if the need arises, the official said.
“Israel has Iron Dome, whereas Ukraine has NASAMS, Patriot, Hawks,” the official added, referring to different air defense systems. “It’s a bit of a different category.”
Eugene Daniels contributed to this report.