House Rejects GOP-Led Standalone Israel Aid Bill

Credits: Politico

The attempt to pass a standalone $17.6 billion aid package for Israel in the House faced a significant setback on Tuesday, failing to garner enough support from both Republican and Democratic leaders.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, compelled by opposition from the conservative House Freedom Caucus, resorted to a procedure requiring a two-thirds majority for approval to secure support from Democrats.

However, the effort fell short of the required threshold, leading to the package’s failure. In a closed caucus meeting on Tuesday morning, House Democratic leadership strongly urged members against supporting the standalone Israel aid package.

GOP Senator (Credits: The Statesman)

Numerous Democrats exiting the meeting expressed their intention to vote against the bill. Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, characterized the effort as a “trap.”

President Joe Biden added to the challenges by issuing a veto threat against the standalone Israel aid bill, expressing a preference for its inclusion as part of a more comprehensive national security package.

The bipartisan Senate legislation, which encompasses aid to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan, as well as measures addressing immigration and the border, is currently facing opposition from GOP members, putting its fate in jeopardy. Johnson, critical of being excluded from Senate negotiations, opted for the standalone bill.

In a “Dear Colleague” letter to lawmakers over the weekend, Johnson criticized the Senate for sidelining the House in bipartisan discussions on a border security deal, likely to be linked with aid for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan.

Johnson pointed out the Senate’s failure to include the House in negotiations, hindering swift consideration of any legislation. Emphasizing the need for the House to address its priorities independently, Johnson highlighted the House’s role in determining the outcome of these crucial issues.

I'm Richard Rosales, I cover political news and ongoing US elections.