The House G.O.P. proposal to help Israel in its war against Hamas is doubling down on borrowing instead of providing humanitarian aid
And while a bill to help fund Israel in its war against Hamas would likely have mustered an overwhelming bipartisan vote, Mr. Johnson went one step further, injecting a provision that would roll back a top priority of Mr. Biden and Democrats that experts said would increase the nation’s debt.
The need to prioritize aid to Israel was stressed by Johnson. standing with Israel is more urgent than IRS agents, he said.
The decision sets the House on a collision course with the Democratic-held Senate, where a bipartisan group of lawmakers has demanded that Congress pass legislation to address both conflicts at the same time.
“Instead of advancing a serious proposal to defend Israel, defend Ukraine and provide humanitarian aid, this House G.O.P. proposal is clearly designed to divide Congress on a partisan basis, not unite it,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, said in an address from the Senate floor. He hoped the new speaker realized that he was a grave mistake and that he would change course very quickly.
The stand-alone bill for Israel has attracted opposition from at least two Republicans, Thomas Massie and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Kentucky.
“The United States government needs to focus on spending Americans’ hard earned tax dollars on our own country and needs to serve the American people NOT the rest of the world,” Ms. Greene wrote on social media.
“It actually doubled down on the borrowing by rescinding money that goes to the IRS, which would translate into a larger loss of money in collected revenues,” MacGuineas says. If that were a part of a larger plan to pull back IRS funding, it would be more expensive than the actual bill.
The President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Maya MacGuineas, said in a statement that paying for the House call to offset military spending for Israel with spending cuts was worse than not paying for it.
“Instead of costing $14 billion, the House bill will add upward of $30 billion to the debt. The plan is doubling down on borrowing instead of avoiding it.
Senate Democrats and the White House have called the bill a nonstarter. The bill also puts House Republicans at odds with many GOP Senators, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
In order to continue his advocacy for funding the war in Ukraine, Senator McConnell of Kentucky doubled down on his support of sending U.S. assistance to the country.
“The threats facing America and our allies are serious and they’re intertwined,” he said on Tuesday. We do so at our own danger if we ignore that fact.
He added on Tuesday that Democrats need to win Republican votes in order to linkUkraine and Israel aid and that they need to give up strong border provisions.
Some people think our support for Ukraine is not worth it. But as I’ve said every time I get the chance, this is a false choice,” he said, calling for “swift and decisive action.”
“Some have argued for decoupling funding to address these threats,” Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the top Republican on the Appropriations Committee, said on Tuesday at the start of a hearing with top administration officials to discuss Mr. Biden’s national security spending request. “We must recognize that our national security interests are being aggressively challenged by all these authoritarian actors in an effort to dismantle the international order that we established following World War II.”
If Mr. McConnell thinks he can make a case for the Ukranian people, go for it. My guess is you can get Ukraine aid passed, probably as a stand-alone bill here. So he’s welcome to do that. I don’t want to hold up Israel.
During the hearing, Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the panel’s chairwoman, attempted to enlist top administration officials in countering Republican arguments against packaging all of the security spending in one large bill.
The Secretary of State said that Russia and Iran are working together to challenge our leadership in order to hem us in globally. They can see if we begin to peel off pieces of this package. They will know that we are playing whack-a-mole while they cooperate more.
Congressional Republicans aim to pay for Israel aid with cuts to IRS funds: A statement on House Republicans condemning the 2024 budget of the Internal Revenue Service
DeLauro called on House Republicans to come to the negotiating table to pass a comprehensive emergency supplemental package as well as 2024 full-year funding bills. The government will shut down if Congress can’t pass a spending bill by November 17.
She took issue with other aspects of the bill, including that it does not include money for humanitarian assistance in the Middle East and also “abandons our allies in Europe and the Indo-Pacific and fails to include much-needed domestic investments.”
She said in a statement that House Republicans were setting a dangerous precedent by suggesting that responding to emergencies is contingent upon cutting other programs.
Emergency supplemental funding is used to address urgent crises, explained Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., the ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee.
The chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the leader of the House of Representatives both called it a poison pill and said it was offensive to pro-Israel Americans.
Lawmakers on either side of the aisle will oppose the bill due to precedent, not want to tie emergency funding to spending cuts, and so they won’t vote for it.
She says taking money away from the IRS is not the smartest way to offset the cost of the program.
The bill aims to take IRS funds to deal with the immediate national security needs and we’ll deal with the rest later, said Johnson.
The IRS has not been funded in a good way since the 1980s. Its enforcement budget was slashed nearly a quarter in the last decade, and further cutting its budget remains a top Republican priority.
In fact, earlier this month it launched a new initiative — using federal funding — aimed at ensuring large corporations pay the taxes they owe, among other efforts.
The IRS plans to use the money to improve customer service, upgrade its computer systems and increase enforcement of its taxes that go unpaid every year because wealthy people under-report their income.
The House bill would cut some $14 billion out of the $80 billion that Biden’s 2022 Inflation Reduction Act allocated to the IRS, the agency that handles tax return processing, taxpayer service and enforcement.
Reply to the Senate Appropriations Committee: House Republicans aim to pay for Israel funding with cuts to IRS funds — a response to a protest by the Ukrainian ambassador to the US
The Secretary of State and Defense Secretary made a case for the continued use of U.S. aid to both countries in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Their testimony was repeatedly interrupted by protesters calling for a cease-fire in the Middle East.
“We’re not just gonna print money and send it overseas,” he said. “Because the other concern that we have that is overriding this is our own strength as a nation, which is tied to our fiscal stability. And that’s a big problem that we have as well. We have to keep it in mind as we try to help everyone else.”
McConnell said that this was a great time to prevent further loss of life and impose real consequences on the tyrants who have harassed the people of Ukraine and Israel. The Senate has the opportunity to produce supplemental assistance that will help us do that.
Democrats are not the only ones with an objection. McConnell has repeatedly said the two issues are related. The two causes were connected in a speech on Monday by the Ukrainian ambassador to the US.
Johnson acknowledged the bill is likely to drive away Democrats, telling FOX News he intends to call Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for a “direct and thoughtful conversation about this.”
The Biden administration’s request for $106 billion to protect Israel, the U.S. border, and the fight against Hamas and Russia
The White House asked Congress for $106 billion last week, with a portion going to Ukraine and the rest to Israel and the U.S. border. It’s asking for $14.3 billion in funding for Israel — the same as the House’s standalone bill — including for air and missile defense, military financing and embassy support.
The Biden administration seeks to link the fights against Hamas and Russia, with the president saying in a rare Oval Office address last week that “they both want to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy.” Biden warned that if they don’t pay the cost for their actions, there will be more chaos, death and destruction.
“Demanding offsets for meeting core national security needs of the United States — like supporting Israel and defending Ukraine from atrocities and Russian imperialism — would be a break with the normal, bipartisan process and could have devastating implications for our safety and alliances in the years ahead,” she added.
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