12 House Dems Ignore Biden Veto Threat, Help Pass Israel Aid With IRS Cuts | JP
Twelve House Democrats joined with Republicans on Thursday to pass a White House-opposed plan offset $14.3 billion in aid for Israel by slashing the same amount of funds meant for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The measure to provide emergency aid to Israel as it fights Hamas passed by a 226-196 vote, sending the legislation to the Democrat-led Senate where Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has already vowed not to bring it up for consideration.
Instead, Schumer announced earlier in the day, the Senate would “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.”
But the passage of the GOP House plan has already proven to be bipartisan with a dozen Democrats voting in favor of it: Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL.), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Jared Golden (D-ME), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Angie Craig (D-MN), Don Davis (D-NC), Greg Landsman (D-OH), Darren Soto (D-FL), Haley Stevens (D-MI) and Fredrica Wilson (D-FL).
Two Republicans, Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), joined with the rest of the Democrats in opposing the measure.
President Joe Biden asked Congress to approve roughly $106 billion in national security-related funds, including $14.3 billion for Israel, $61.4 billion for Ukraine in its fight against Russia, as well as money for Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific, humanitarian assistance, and border security.
The White House signaled that Biden would veto the House GOP measure and some Democrats have seized on a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis that found the offset idea would decrease revenues by $26.8 billion over 10 years and therefore increase the federal deficit by $12.5 billion over that time period.
During a press conference on earlier on Thursday, new House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) emphasized he does not favor an Israel assistance package that does not include federal spending cuts.
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“We are in dire straits as a nation,” Johnson said. He stressed that tackling the $33.7 trillion national debt is a top priority, declaring, “We want to protect and help and assist our friend Israel, but we have to keep our own house in order as well.” Johnson said he has made it “very clear” to the Biden administration and Senate Republicans that “we’re going to do this in a responsible manner.”
The speaker also vowed that Ukraine will “come next” and suggested it could be paired with border security. Johnson said he believes a bipartisan agreement can be reached on those issues.