On Monday, members of the Republican party who control the House of Representatives in the United States presented a proposal to reduce funding for the Internal Revenue Service in order to pay for aid to Israel amounting to $14.3 billion. This move has set up a confrontation with Democrats, who now hold the majority in the Senate.
Despite Joe Biden’s desire for a package that would include aid for Israel, Ukraine, and border security totaling $106 billion, House Republicans announced a single supplemental funding bill just for Israel as one of the first significant policy acts taken under new House speaker Mike Johnson. This was one of the first major policy moves taken under the leadership of Mike Johnson.
Before being elected speaker of the House of Representatives a week ago, Johnson cast a vote against providing financial assistance to Ukraine and had previously stated that he desired financial assistance to Israel and Ukraine to be managed independently. He has stated that he wants there to be greater responsibility for the money that has been supplied to the Kyiv government so that it can battle the Russian invaders.
On Monday, the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, expressed his confidence that the House of Representatives will grant Ukraine’s request for increased funding for its armed forces.
“The outcome is the most important thing to consider – are there sufficient votes or not?” According to Kuleba, who was speaking on Ukrainian state television. And at this very moment, we have every reason to assume that there are votes in the US House of Representatives for the bill that would provide Ukraine with extra support.
Kuleba stated that he was aware of “considerable political resistance” to the provisions of the bill and that it would be a “sin” for US lawmakers to not use the legislation to promote their own interests. Kuleba also stated that he was aware of the “considerable political resistance” to the provisions of the bill.
“Israel is a separate matter,” Johnson stated in an interview on Fox News the week before, expressing his intention to “bifurcate” the concerns of funding for Ukraine and Israel. “Israel is a separate matter,” Johnson said. “Israel is a separate matter.”
In the wake of the attack on 7 October carried out by Hamas, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,400 people and the kidnapping of more than 200 more, Johnson has stated that strengthening support for Israel should be at the top of the US national security agenda.
Democrats have accused Republicans of obstructing Congress’s capacity to assist Israel by presenting a bill that is politicized.
Karine Jean-Pierre, press secretary for White House, said in which she accused Republicans of “politicizing national security” and referred to their measure as an unworkable proposal. The bill would need to be approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as be signed into law by Vice President Joe Biden.
“House Republicans are dangerous precedent by suggesting that protecting national security or responding to natural disasters is contingent upon cuts to other programs,” Rosa DeLauro, the ranking Democratic representative on the House appropriations committee, said in a statement. DeLauro is the Democratic representative with the highest position on the House appropriations committee.
On Wednesday, the plan proposed by the Republicans in Israel is scheduled to be debated in the House rules committee.