In a recent development, the United States House of Representatives voted against a standalone Israel aid bill, which sought to allocate $17.6 billion in military assistance to the nation. The rejection came on Tuesday, with a notable opposition from 167 Democrats, including President Joe Biden, and 14 Republicans, as reported by The Washington Post.
Critics had previously characterized the bill as a “cynical” move aimed at derailing a more comprehensive cross-party border security and international assistance package, which encompassed provisions for the war-torn Ukraine.
Staunch Opposition from Both Parties Reports indicate that the standalone bill faced resistance from both sides of the aisle. Fourteen Republicans opposed the bill, citing the absence of budgetary offsets, a demand consistently made by conservatives for any new spending proposal. On the Democratic front, concerns were raised that the bill’s passage might impede efforts to provide additional aid to Ukraine.
Hakeem Jeffries, House Democratic Minority Leader, expressed his reservations in a letter to colleagues, stating, “Unfortunately, the standalone legislation… is not being offered in good faith.”
Allocation Breakdown of the Israel Aid Package The proposed bill encompassed a comprehensive allocation of $17.6 billion in military aid for Israel, along with the replenishment of US defense systems. Specific provisions included $4 billion for Israel’s missile defense systems, $1.2 billion to counter short-range rockets and mortar threats, and funding for advanced weapons systems.
In contrast, a more expansive $118 billion border security and international assistance package, introduced by the Democrats-led Senate, featured $14.1 billion in aid for Israel, $60 billion for Ukraine, and $20 billion for border security.
Tensions Escalate as White House Threatens Veto Prior to the vote, the White House issued a statement announcing President Biden’s intent to veto the bill if it reached his desk. In response, Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson criticized this stance, deeming it “outrageous and shameful” for Biden to consider vetoing support for Israel “in their hour of greatest need.”