In a bipartisan effort, House Democrats and Republicans joined forces to pass a plan aimed at providing emergency aid to Israel as it continues to face challenges from Hamas. The legislation passed by a vote of 226-196, despite opposition from the White House. This legislation seeks to allocate $14.3 billion in aid to Israel while offsetting the funds by reducing the budget allocated for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The move comes as the U.S. Senate, led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, expressed plans to develop a separate bipartisan emergency aid package. Schumer’s proposal includes funding for Israel, humanitarian aid for Gaza, aid to Ukraine, and initiatives aimed at addressing competition with the Chinese government.
Notably, twelve House Democrats broke ranks with their party and voted in favor of the GOP’s plan to provide emergency aid to Israel. They included Representatives Angie Craig, Don Davis, Lois Frankel, Jared Golden, Josh Gottheimer, Greg Landsman, Jared Moskowitz, Darren Soto, Haley Stevens, Juan Vargas, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Frederica Wilson.
Representative Lois Frankel underscored the importance of aiding Israel in defending itself, emphasizing the need to stand with Israel in the face of threats from groups like Hamas.
Meanwhile, two Republicans, Representatives Thomas Massie and Marjorie Taylor Greene, voted against the measure, reflecting diverse perspectives on the issue.
President Joe Biden had previously requested Congressional approval for approximately $106 billion in national security-related funds, including $14.3 billion for Israel, $61.4 billion for Ukraine in its struggle against Russia, as well as funding for Taiwan, the Indo-Pacific region, humanitarian assistance, and border security.
The White House has signaled its intention to veto the House GOP measure, with some Democrats citing a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis that suggests the offset approach would result in decreased revenues and an increase in the federal deficit over a ten-year period.
The House Republican legislation also aims to further reduce the IRS budget, following the earlier allocation of $80 billion for the agency through the Inflation Reduction Act. The funding is intended to bolster and modernize the IRS and enhance enforcement efforts, particularly against wealthy tax evaders. A portion of these funds was clawed back in a debt ceiling deal in June.
House Speaker Mike Johnson emphasized the need for fiscal responsibility, indicating that addressing the national debt is a top priority. Johnson stressed the importance of assisting Israel while also ensuring fiscal prudence within the nation. He also pledged to address the issue of aid to Ukraine in a responsible manner, potentially paired with border security, reflecting the House’s commitment to bipartisan agreements.
🚨 #BREAKING: The House of Representatives has PASSED the Israel funding bill that would give $14.3 billion to Israel paid for by $14.3 billion in cuts to the IRS.
Biden has said he will VETO this bill, but 12 DEMOCRATS have defied Biden to vote in favor.
DO YOU SUPPORT THIS… pic.twitter.com/pvTvq2PyyR
— Nick Sortor (@nicksortor) November 2, 2023