12 Dems Join GOP In Israel Aid With IRS Cuts
Over a dozen House Democrats joined with Republicans on Thursday to pass a measure that aims to provide emergency aid to Israel amidst its clashes with Hamas. The White House has opposed the plan, which seeks to offset $14.3 billion in aid for Israel by cutting the same amount of funds meant for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The House GOP measure passed by a 226-196 vote, with 12 Democrats joining in support. These Democrats include Reps. Angie Craig (D-MN), Don Davis (D-NC), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Jared Golden (D-ME), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Greg Landsman (D-OH), Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), Darren Soto (D-FL), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), and Frederica Wilson (D-FL).
The measure has bipartisan support, with some Democrats emphasizing the moral duty and national security urgency to aid Israel in defending itself against Hamas. However, the passage of the bill may be largely symbolic, as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has already announced that the Senate will work on its own bipartisan emergency aid package that includes funding for Israel, Ukraine, humanitarian aid for Gaza, and competition with China.
President Joe Biden has also requested Congress to approve roughly $106 billion in national security-related funds, including $14.3 billion for Israel and $61.4 billion for Ukraine. The White House has stated that Biden would veto the House GOP measure, with the Office of Management and Budget arguing that the bill hinders bipartisan support for Israel's security and fails to address the urgency of the situation.
During a press conference, new House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) emphasized the need to address the national deficit and keep the country's fiscal house in order while providing aid to Israel and Ukraine. He stressed the importance of finding a responsible and bipartisan solution to both issues.
The CBO analysis has also been used to criticize the House GOP measure, as it suggests that the proposed offset would decrease revenues and increase the federal deficit. This has caused concern among some Democrats, who believe that addressing the national debt should be a priority.
In response, Johnson stated that Ukraine will be the next issue addressed by Congress, possibly in combination with funding for border security. He expressed confidence that a bipartisan agreement can be reached on these matters.
The passing of the House GOP measure signals strong support for Israel from both parties in Congress. However, it remains to be seen if the bill will gain enough support in the Senate to make it further along in the legislative process.