WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Republican plan to provide $14.3 billion in aid to Israel and cut funding of the Internal Revenue Service, despite Democrats’ insistence it has no future in the Senate and the White House’s promise of a veto.
The measure passed 226 to 196, largely along party lines, a shift from typical strongly bipartisan congressional support for providing aid to Israel. Twelve Democrats voted with 214 Republicans for the bill, and two Republicans joined 194 Democrats in objecting.
The bill’s introduction, as lawmakers rushed to help Israel in its war on Gaza, was the first major legislative action under new Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson.
But because it combined aid for Israel with a cut to the Internal Revenue Service and left out aid for Ukraine and very small humanitarian aid for Palestinians, President Biden promised a veto and Senator Chuck Schumer, majority leader of the Democratic-controlled Senate, said he would not bring it up for a vote.
Biden has asked Congress to approve a broader $106 billion emergency spending package that included funding for Israel, Taiwan and Ukraine, as well as humanitarian aid for Palestinians, among others. Schumer said the Senate would consider a bipartisan bill addressing the broader priorities.
The dispute between the two chambers could mean it will be weeks before Congress approves any emergency spending plan.
The House bill would provide billions only for Israel’s military, including $4 billion for procurement towards Israel’s Iron Dome and David’s Sling defense systems to counter short-range rocket threats, as well as some transfers of equipment from U.S. stocks.
Israel already receives $3.8 billion per year in U.S. military assistance under a 10-year plan that began in 2016.
Republicans have a 221-212 majority in the House, but Democrats control the Senate 51-49. To become law, the bill would have to pass both the House and Senate and be signed by Biden.
U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s statement on funding Netanyahu’s genocide
U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) released the following statement following the House vote on “Israel-only aid bill”:
The American people do not support funding for war crimes – like the use of white phosphorus bombs – and are calling for a ceasefire. As the Israeli government carries out ethnic cleansing in Gaza, President Biden is cheering on Netanyahu, whose own citizens are protesting for his refusal to support a ceasefire. We must be laser focused on saving lives, no matter faith or ethnicity. The number of children killed in Gaza in just three weeks has surpassed the annual number of children killed across the world’s conflict zones since 2019 — yet instead of helping end this violence, President Biden baselessly casts doubt on the Palestinian death toll. U.S. funding for the Israeli military with no humanitarian conditions will take us father away from ending the violence and peace. Achieving a just and lasting peace requires lifting the blockade, ending the occupation and dismantling the dehumanizing system of apartheid. Not only do some of my colleagues want to send more weapons to carry out war crimes and violations of international law, but they want to do it by providing tax breaks to billionaires and undermining crucial investments in our communities. Instead of funding more bombs with American taxpayer dollars, our leaders should be calling for a ceasefire now, before this violence claims thousands more lives.”