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GOP-Led House Rejects Standalone Israel Aid Bill

   DailyWire.com
Speaker of House Mike Johnson (R-LA) calls on reporters during a news conference following the weekly GOP caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on February 06, 2024 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The GOP-led House failed on Tuesday to pass a bill to approve a $17.6 billion Israel aid package that does not include an offset that was tucked into a similar measure the chamber approved last year.

Fourteen Republicans joined with 166 Democrats in voting against H.R. 7217, which is geared toward helping Israel respond to attacks, while 204 GOP lawmakers and 46 of their colleagues across the aisle supported it. One member, Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), missed the vote as he continues to battle cancer.

The bill was considered under suspension of the rules, a mechanism that allowed leadership to limit debate and prohibit floor amendments while requiring a two-thirds majority for the legislation to prevail — a threshold that was missed by a couple dozen votes.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), who announced the bill over the weekend, told Punchbowl News earlier in the day that if the bill did not pass on Tuesday, “There’s a very good chance we’ll bring it back again next week.” House Republicans may also try another go at impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in the coming days after a vote on Tuesday ended in failure.

The Democrat-controlled Senate is considering a $118 billion package that would couple border security reforms with funds for Ukraine, Israel, and other foreign causes. Johnson has said the Senate bill is “dead on arrival” in the House, and as of Tuesday it appeared the compromise measure would hit a wall with GOP senators leaning toward revisiting a foreign aid bill divorced from border provisions.

Leaders among House Democrats said they would oppose the standalone Israel aid bill championed by Johnson, noting they were “prepared to support any serious, bipartisan effort in connection with the special relationship between the United States and Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East.”

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The White House warned President Joe Biden would veto the standalone Israel aid bill, calling the House GOP’s push a “cynical political maneuver” shortly before a bipartisan group of Senate negotiators unveiled their legislative compromise after months of talks.

When Johnson revealed the plan to go with a standalone Israel aid bill on Saturday, he cited the “Senate’s failure to move appropriate legislation in a timely fashion, and the perilous circumstances currently facing Israel.”

He added, in a letter, that “Democrats made clear that their primary objection to the original House bill was with its offsets” and surmised that the Senate “will no longer have excuses, however misguided, against swift passage of this critical support for our ally.”

The new Israel aid measure marked a departure from legislation passed by the House in early November — with the help of 12 Democrats who broke ranks — that coupled $14.3 billion in support for Israel with an offset slashing the same amount of funds meant for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) condemned the proposal combining Israel aid and IRS cuts as “deeply flawed” and vowed the upper chamber would not take it up for consideration. He made a similar vow of the standalone Israel aid bill.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  GOP-Led House Rejects Standalone Israel Aid Bill