In a notable move, U.S. House of Representatives Republicans presented a $14.3 billion aid plan for Israel on Monday by reallocating funds from the Internal Revenue Service, setting the stage for a contentious confrontation with Senate Democrats who currently hold the majority.
Under the leadership of the new House Speaker, Mike Johnson, House Republicans introduced a standalone supplemental spending bill exclusively designated for Israel. This move, while diverging from Democratic President Joe Biden's request for a $106 billion comprehensive package encompassing aid for Israel, Ukraine, and border security, underscores a significant policy action in the House.
Mike Johnson, who had previously voted against aid for Ukraine prior to his election as House Speaker last week, has been vocal about his preference for handling aid to Israel and Ukraine separately. He has emphasized the need for enhanced accountability regarding funds directed towards the Ukrainian government in its ongoing struggle against Russian forces.
In a recent Fox News interview, Johnson clarified his stance, saying, "Israel is a separate matter," and expressing his desire to "bifurcate" the funding issues for Ukraine and Israel.
Democrats have criticized Republicans for introducing a partisan bill, accusing them of impeding congressional efforts to provide assistance to Israel.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre issued a statement condemning Republicans for what she termed "politicizing national security" and referred to their bill as a non-starter. For this measure to become law, it must successfully pass both the House and the Senate and be signed by President Biden.