The United States House of Representatives approves $14.5 billion in military aid for Israel, while President Biden threatens to veto the decision.
The House of Representatives in the United States voted on Thursday to provide $14.5 billion in military support to Israel in their conflict with Hamas. However, President Joe Biden has expressed his intention to reject the proposal due to the conditions imposed and its lack of acknowledgement of other requests from his administration.
The new House Speaker, Mike Johnson, used an unconventional method for the aid package by insisting that any emergency funds be balanced out by reducing government spending in other areas. This approach led to a vote that mostly split along party lines.
The bill, which passed 226 to 196, is Republican Johnson’s first major legislative action since he became speaker last week. Johnson, who is from the Southern U.S. state of Louisiana, said the bill would help Israel “while we also work to ensure responsible spending and reduce the size of the federal government.”
The Republican bill did not contain any assistance for the people of Gaza.
Andrew Clyde, a Republican representative from Georgia, expressed gratitude that there is no humanitarian assistance, citing concerns that it could potentially benefit Hamas.
Biden has declared his intention to reject the bill, while Democrats have stated that the bill is unlikely to pass in the Senate.
The White House criticized Johnson’s strategy, stating it would establish a dangerous standard and “does not address the pressing nature of the situation.” The White House condemned the absence of humanitarian support for Gaza in the legislation, which also did not include military aid for Ukraine or Taiwan.
The White House stated that this legislation would deviate from the usual bipartisan method of offering emergency national security aid. It further expressed concerns that the Republican strategy could have damaging consequences for our safety and international relationships in the future.
The plan to pay for the aid would involve cutting billions from the Internal Revenue Service that Democrats approved last year and Biden signed into law. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said that approach would ultimately cost the federal government $12 billion because of the lost revenue from taxes.
The bill, according to Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, was deemed “stunningly unserious” and unlikely to pass in the Senate.
Biden asked Congress to approve a more general $106 billion emergency spending package that would include funding for Israel, Taiwan, Ukraine and humanitarian aid. Schumer, of New York, said the Senate would consider a bipartisan bill addressing those concerns.
The data for this report was sourced from Reuters and The Associated Press.