WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives and its new Speaker Mike Johnson (R- LA) passed a $14.3 billion aid package for Israel. However, most Democrats and even some Senate Republicans call the legislation “flawed.”
The aid package passed the Republican-controlled House Thursday evening with the support of 12 Democrats. The legislation would cut 14.3 billion dollars from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and use it instead to aid Israel in the war against Hamas.
However, most Democrats accuse Republicans of leveraging the aid for Israel for funding cuts.
“Many of us are perplexed at the decision that was made by Republicans to abandon the approach that has been taken in a bipartisan way to respond to emergencies and try to politicize it by imposing a condition in their legislation that was designed to undermine the inflation reduction. That is the classic definition of a political stunt,” said House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D- NY).
Despite the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimating the cuts would lead to billions in lost revenue, Speaker Johnson says it’s the most fiscally responsible option.
“I did not attach that for political purposes. I attached it because, again, we’re trying to get back to the principle of fiscal responsibility here and that was the easiest and largest pile of money that’s sitting there for us to be able to pay for this immediate obligation. And so, we’re going to stand for that,” said Speaker Johnson.
The House Bill also does not include additional aid for Ukraine, as requested by President Biden.
“We’re always going to be there for Israel. I think we’ve already proved to Ukraine that we’re there for them,” said Rep. Mike Kelly (R- PA).
Kelly says the U.S. has delivered big-time for Ukraine. He believes Europe should be doing the same.
“I’m just surprised that the rest of Europe didn’t help out with Ukraine the way I think they should have. NATO has been kind of off to the side, involved, but not really involved,” said Kelly, who added he acknowledges the unique role of the United States during times of emergency.
“I think we’re going to show up anywhere in the world where there’s trouble. We are, whether we like it or not, the world’s policeman,” said Kelly.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D- NY) said Thursday the Senate will not take up the House GOP bill, which he calls “deeply flawed.”
“Let me be clear: The Senate will not take up the House GOP’s deeply flawed proposal… Instead we will work on our own bipartisan emergency aid package that includes funding for aid to Israel, Ukraine, humanitarian aid including for Gaza, and competition with the Chinese Government,” said Sen. Schumer (D- NY) Thursday on “X” formerly known as Twitter.