House Republicans on Thursday approved a bill providing $14.3 billion in financial aid to Israel, which is at war with Hamas, defying Democratic President Joe Biden’s request to approve an emergency funding package that would also include funds on aid to Gaza, military aid to Ukraine and partners in Asia, dealing with China and the immigration crisis on the US southern border.

The text of the conservative opposition is considered dead, however, as the Democrats have already made it clear that they have no intention of allowing it to be adopted by the Senate — and even if such a thing were to happen, President Biden has announced that he will exercise his veto.

The American Congress, functional again after the election of a new “speaker”, president of the House of Representatives, is divided on the issue of supporting Washington’s allies abroad.

Democrats and Republicans say they want immediate approval of military aid to Israel. But things are complicated when it comes to Ukraine.

The US government is the main supplier of military hardware to Kiev, having made available tens of billions of dollars worth of weaponry since the Russian military invaded Ukrainian territory in February 2022. But Mr Biden’s pledge that Washington would continue to support Ukraine “as long as necessary”, repeated when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the US capital in September, is now being called into question.

In the House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republicans, there is a small group of them who demand an end to military aid to Kiev. This body had been immersed for three weeks in an unprecedented paralysis, due to the vacancy in its presidency caused by this very group. Its new president Mike Johnson is still finding his feet.

In the Democratic-controlled Senate, by contrast, Republicans generally favor continuing aid to Kiev.

The Democratic president, in an effort to secure consensus, decided to combine his request for new military aid to Ukraine (more than $61 billion) with that intended for Israel (14 billion), as well as dealing with China (on a military level, with investments in submarines, and on an economic level with competition with Beijing in developing countries). It also called for funding (9 billion) to respond to international humanitarian crises, including that in the Gaza Strip. In total, about 106 billion dollars.

But the Republican staff in the House turned a deaf ear, defied the president and adopted (226 votes for, 196 against) a text that provides support exclusively for Israel. Few Democrats were in favor.

To finance that aid, Republicans want funds to be drawn from President Biden’s ambitious climate and infrastructure plan adopted last year. The White House opposes it. The Senate too.

“We cannot waste a single minute” in providing “the aid that Israel needs,” the new chamber president Johnson said before the vote, avoiding any reference to the request for humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

The Republican bill provides, among other things, $4 billion to provide munitions for the Iron Dome and David’s Sling air defense systems as well as the transfer of items from US military stockpiles.

The Republican plan is “stillborn,” countered National Security Council spokesman John Kerby.

While Senator Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, made it clear that he does not intend to even put the bill approved by the House to a vote in the chamber.

The debate on the issue is said to be difficult. Mr Johnson insists that funding aid to Washington’s other allies, notably Ukraine, should be considered later.