Title: House Releases Text of Planned Israel Funding Bill Amidst Opposition and Calls for Compromises
The House has recently unveiled the text of its proposed funding bill for Israel, which includes a substantial $14.3 billion aid package for the country. However, the bill faces numerous hurdles and has ignited fierce debates among lawmakers.
In an effort to offset the costs, the bill also includes spending cuts of the same amount, effectively rescinding $14.3 billion that was initially allocated to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. This decision has sparked concerns among Democrats, who fear that these offsets could impede the bill’s passage in the House.
Already, two House Republicans have announced their opposition to the bill, further complicating its chances of success. Meanwhile, discussions are underway in the Senate regarding potential compromises. Senate leaders are pushing for the funding for Israel to be combined with Ukraine and border security funding. On the other hand, House Speaker Mike Johnson wishes to detach the aid to Israel from Ukraine aid.
Johnson plans to engage in a discussion with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to advocate for spending cuts that would offset the costs of the Israel package. However, Senate Democrats have signaled their rejection of this proposal. Schumer argues that any supplemental package should include funding for Ukraine and humanitarian aid for Gaza.
According to Senator Patty Murray, a close associate of Schumer, the bill is “dead-on-arrival” in the Senate due to its targeting of IRS enforcement and exclusion of aid to Ukraine. However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and some Senate Republicans believe that aid to Ukraine should be prioritized and included in the national security supplemental bill.
Within the Republican party, there is a divide over McConnell’s push to link Ukraine aid to the Israel package, with some senators suggesting that they should follow the lead of the House. Senator Lindsey Graham proposes passing the Israel funding in a standalone package while ensuring that other priorities, such as aid to Ukraine, are also addressed.
It is evident that the bill faces significant challenges in both the House and the Senate due to competing priorities and disagreements among lawmakers. As discussions continue, compromises and negotiations will be crucial to secure the aid for Israel and address the concerns raised by both parties.
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