WASHINGTON, D.C. — Federal lawmakers are still determining how to send aid to Israel and whether it should be tied to additional aid for Ukraine. The House and Senate are split on their approach.
Democrats and even some Republicans are in favor of combining Israel, Ukraine and other aid into one supplemental package.
House Republicans and some Senate Republicans say sending relief to Israel as soon as possible needs to be the first step. They say additional aid for Ukraine, Taiwan, the southern border and others can and should be debated, without delaying assistance for Israel.
“I think with the aid to Israel, I don’t want that coming out of the same package. I want our folks to see exactly what it is, the money that we’re spending and what we’re sending to Ukraine, what we’re sending to Israel. I think it’s really important,” said Rep. Mike Kelly (R- PA).
In a proposal outlined by the House GOP and their new Speaker, Mike Johnson (R- LA), Republicans want to cut over $14 billion in funding for the IRS and use it for Israel aid instead. However, defunding the IRS could come at a cost down the road. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a non-partisan agency, cutting $14.3 billion from the IRS would actually increase deficits more than $12 billion by 2033.
Rep. Kelly says his conference is committed to making the best choice for American taxpayers.
“I like the Speaker’s ideas on it. We’ll look at CBO, see what works, and then we’ll try to determine what’s in the best interests of the people who supply every single penny, our taxpayers,” said Kelly.
Both Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D- NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R- KY) are standing firm on including aid for Ukraine and others with the aid for Israel. However, several Senate Republicans agree with the House GOP’s approach.