The House passed a stand-alone bill Thursday that would send military aid to Israel in its conflict with Hamas terrorists, to be funded by cuts to the budget of the Internal Revenue Service.
The Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2024 would provide funds to the Defense Department to replace equipment provided to Israel as military aid, fund research for new air defense systems being developed by Israel, such as the Iron Beam aerial laser program, and fund the State Department’s programs to evacuate U.S. citizens from the region as well as protect U.S. diplomatic missions under new threats due to the conflict.
The House passed the bill by a vote of 226-196, with most Democrats voting against it.
“House Republicans are bringing forward a bill to ensure Israel has what it needs to defend itself as it fights to eliminate the threat from Hamas,” House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., wrote in an email to the Daily Caller News Foundation ahead of the vote.
“Israel has every right to defend itself against such heinous actions, and we must stand with them in their fight against our shared enemies for self-determination, democracy, and freedom,” Scalise said.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, along with 100 other Republican co-sponsors. It has been strongly opposed by Senate Democrats.
Senate President Pro Tempore Patty Murray, D-Wash., tweeted that “[t]he House GOP’s bill is dead on arrival” in the upper chamber, which Democrats narrowly control. The White House said President Joe Biden would veto the bill if it reached his desk.
Biden previously proposed a supplemental appropriations bill totalling $106 billion to fund aid not only to Israel but also to Ukraine during its war with Russia, as well as provide funds for border security and immigration processing at the U.S. border with Mexico.
Biden’s request was widely criticized by House Republicans, who indicated that the proposal would not receive support in their chamber, where they hold a narrow majority.
A nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office review of the bill’s budgetary effects estimated that it would increase the deficit by nearly $12.5 billion over 10 years, until 2033. The CBO noted to Congress that funds cut from the IRS are intended to support enforcement actions against delinquent taxpayers, which “would result in fewer enforcement actions over the next decade and in a reduction in revenue collections.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed Republicans in a speech Wednesday on the floor of the Senate
“Speaker [Mike] Johnson and House Republicans released a totally unserious and woefully inadequate package that omitted aid to Ukraine, omitted humanitarian assistance to Gaza, had no funding for the Indo-Pacific, and made funding for Israel conditional on hard-right, never-going-to-pass proposals. What a joke,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said.
National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Will Reinart criticized Democrats in a statement for opposing the bill “as terrorists continue their barbaric attacks.”
Ahead of the bill’s consideration, several House Republicans indicated to the Daily Caller News Foundation that they wouldn’t have voted for a bill providing military aid unless it was offset by corresponding spending cuts.
“We are in the worst fiscal crisis our country has ever faced,” said Rep. Bob Good, R-Va. “We ought to require offsets, cuts to … the IRS expansion in order to fund [the bill]. We shouldn’t be borrowing from China, borrowing from our kids’ and grandkids’ future to fund the Israeli funding. Even though it’s good policy, we literally don’t have the money.”
“We need to have the offsets,” Good said, when pressed on whether he’d support a bill to aid Israel without offsetting cuts. This point was echoed by Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.
“Funding for many of those things needs to be offset because we are running trillion-dollar deficits at this point,” Perry said. “Since the president refuses to be the adult in the room … that’s going to be the House of Representatives.”
“I do not believe we should write another blank check to anyone, including ourselves, we must pay for it. And the American people must see that it’s going to cause something if we’re going to give another $14 billion to Israel,” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, said. “If you see me in the end having to vote against Israel funding, just make sure you heard it here first, right? I support Israel. But I am not going to continue to go down this road where we bankrupt our country.”
Schumer and the Israeli Mission to the United States did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
This report originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation
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