Speaker Biden vs. Johnson: Spending Cuts and Jobs for Israel and College Campus Action over the Israel-Hamas War
Congress tried to place conditions on emergency aid for the first time, which caused pro-Israel Democrats to object to the legislation.
Representative Brad Schneider of Illinois said that “in my worst nightmares, I never thought I would be asked to vote for a bill cynically conditioning aid to Israel on ceding to the partisan demands of one party.”
Backers said the package would provide support for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, procurement of advanced weaponry and other military needs, and help with protection and evacuations of U.S. citizens. CBO pegged the overall package at about $14.3 billion for Israel.
Mr. Johnson said he did not attach the spending cuts “for political purposes,” but because House Republicans were “trying to get back to the principle of fiscal responsibility.”
The Congressional Budget Office said on wednesday that the Spending Cuts and Jobs act would increase the deficit by $12.5 billion over the next decade.
Mr. Johnson’s conference is deeply divided over funding foreign wars and he wants to maintain his position as speaker. His predecessor, former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, was ousted after he passed two bills — one to avert the nation’s first default on its debt and the other to avert a shutdown — that did not have majority backing from his House Republicans.
In other action Thursday, the House overwhelmingly approved a Republican-led resolution that focused on college campus activism over the Israel-Hamas war. The nonbinding resolution would condemn support of Hamas, Hezbollah and terrorist organizations at institutions of higher education.
McConnell is trying to keep the aid package more in line with the Biden request, but he also wants his GOP colleagues in the House to support him.
The State of the Art: The Case for Military Aid and Security Assistance in the Post-Censorship War between Israel and the Jewish People
Democrats have been attacked by Republicans for raising questions about Israel’s war tactics. Tlaib, a member of congress, was the only Palestinian American lawmaker in congress. The censure measure failed.
Nevertheless, Goldman said he opposed the Republican-led bill as a “shameful effort” to turn the situation in Israel and the Jewish people into a political weapon.
Dan Goldman, a New York congressman, hid with his family in a stairwell during the most horrifying attack on Jews since the Holocaust.
“Republicans are leveraging the excruciating pain of an international crisis to help rich people who cheat on their taxes and big corporations who regularly dodge their taxes,” said Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, the top Democrat on the House Rules Committee.
Democrats urged the Republicans to restore the humanitarian aid Biden requested and decried the politics of Israel support during the floor debate.
WASHINGTON — The House approved a nearly $14.5 billion military aid package Thursday for Israel, a muscular U.S. response to the war with Hamas but also a partisan approach by new Speaker Mike Johnson that poses a direct challenge to Democrats and President Joe Biden.
In a departure from norms, Johnson’s package required that the emergency aid be offset with cuts in government spending elsewhere. The tack established the new House GOP’s conservative leadership but also turned what should have been a bipartisan vote into one that divides Republicans and Democrats. 12 Democrats voted in favor of the bill, but VP Biden said he would veto it.
The Republican majority in the House is trying to get back to work after a month of turmoil, but this is also Johnson’s first big test. Johnson has said he will turn next to aid for Ukraine along with U.S. border security, preferring to address Biden’s requests separately as GOP lawmakers increasingly oppose aiding Kyiv.
The White House warned that Johnson’s approach failed to meet the moment’s importance and would set a dangerous precedent by requiring emergency funds to come from cuts elsewhere.
The White House said the Republican plan’s failure to include humanitarian aid for Gaza is a mistake as the crisis escalates.
The White House wrote that the legislation would break with the normal bipartisan approach to emergency national security assistance. It said the GOP stance “would have devastating implications for our safety and alliances in the years ahead.”
A person with knowledge of the situation said that the White House chief of staff, and others have been talking to House Democrats.
Reply to the Speaker’s Brief Briefing on the Tax Cuts and Remnants in the Internal Revenue Code (Reply to Biden)
To pay for the bill, House Republicans have attached provisions that would cut billions from the IRS that Democrats approved last year and Biden signed into law as a way to go after tax cheats. The Congressional Budget Office says that if that were to happen the government would end up costing it $12.50 billion because of lost tax revenue. The cost of aid package and revenue reduction adds up to a total of $26 billion.