Democrats, fiscal conservatives kill stand-alone Israel aid bill in the House

166 Democrats voted against the bill along with 14 Republicans who wanted the price tag offset by more spending cuts.

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
On Tuesday, a $17.6 billion aid package for Israel failed to pass in the US House of Representatives.

President Joe Biden previously threatened to veto the bill if it passed, because he wanted it as part of a bigger $118 billion supplemental security package which included funds for Ukraine aid and border security.

166 Democrats voted against the bill along with 14 Republicans who wanted the price tag offset by spending cuts.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) fast-tracked the vote by using a suspension of House rules that would bypass a procedural obstacle known as a rule vote in exchange for raising the threshold for passing the legislation to two-thirds of the body as opposed to a simple majority.

Johnson previously brought a $14.3 billion Israel aid bill to the House floor, which included offsets by cutting funds that Biden had allocated to the IRS. Democrats in the Senate dismissed the legislation as a "poison pill.”

Rep Adam Smith (D-WA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement, “I voted against the standalone supplemental bill for Israel today because I cannot support a national security supplement that abandons Ukraine and fails to provide humanitarian assistance for Palestinians in Gaza.”

Yet, hours before he voted against the aid package, during an interview with The Ari hoffman Show on Talk Radio 570 KVI, Smith acknowledged "a lot of that aid is winding up in the hands of Hamas militants" due to "Hamas' control of Gaza” and even suggested that Hoffman should be Speaker of the House so there would be a straight up or down vote on aid for Israel separate from Ukraine & the border.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) announced Tuesday afternoon that Democratic leadership would vote against the bill stating, “Unfortunately, the standalone legislation introduced by House Republicans over the weekend, at the eleventh hour, without notice or consultation, is not being offered in good faith."

Johnson slammed Democrats for voting against the bill, accusing them of using aid for Israel as "leverage" to pass their supplemental funding request. Johnson said, "After nearly four months of waiting for the Senate to act, House Republicans, working in good faith, placed a clean, standalone bill on the floor — a major concession we were willing to make given the gravity of the situation to address Democrats’ stated concerns with the prior aid package."

He added, "Democrats have been unable to present any substantive policy objection in the current legislation. It is clear they are now committed to using Israel aid as leverage to force through other priorities that do not enjoy nearly the same degree of consensus. Leveraging Israel aid as it fights for survival is wrong. The White House and congressional Democrats should be ashamed."
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