The House on Thursday passed a bill to provide Israel with $14.3 billion in military aid, a strong show of support for the Israeli onslaught on Gaza, which has killed over 9,000 people so far.
The Republican-authored bill would cut funds from the Internal Revenue Service to pay for Israel’s aid, drawing opposition from Democrats. The bill passed in a vote of 226-196, with only 12 Democrats voting in favor. Two Republicans voted against the bill: Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).
Due to the IRS cuts, the White House has threatened to veto the bill, and the Democrat-controlled Senate is working on its own version. Democrats expressed frustration at the GOP bill, saying it will only delay getting more weapons to Israel, which already receives $3.8 billion in military aid from the US each year.
“It still mystifies me that when the world is in crisis, and we need to help Israel respond to Hamas, the GOP thought it was a good idea to tie Israel aid to a hard-right proposal that will raise the deficit and is totally, totally partisan,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Schumer said the Senate would not take up the House version of the Israel bill at all and would introduce its own that includes funding for the Ukraine war and humanitarian aid for Gaza. The White House recently requested a massive $105 billion spending package that would roll military aid for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan into one, as well as funding for border security.
New House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-FL), who vowed to prioritize backing Israel when elected, said the GOP version of the bill helps Israel in its bombardment of Gaza “while we also work to ensure responsible spending and reduce the size of the federal government.”
Explaining his opposition to the bill, Rep. Massie said the US couldn’t afford it. “Soaring inflation and high interest rates are due to overspending. We can’t afford more foreign aid. I voted against the billions for Ukraine, and I am voting against $14+ billion of foreign aid for Israel tonight,” he wrote on X.