House GOP Propose $17.6B For Israel, With No Offsetting Cuts To IRS

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Feb 03, 2024 - 11:05 PM

Next week, the GOP-led House will vote on a new, $17.6 billion Israel aid package that won't include IRS funding cuts contained in their original bill, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said on Saturday.

What's more (oh boy!), the new House bill includes $3.3 billion to support US military operations in the Middle East as regional conflicts break out on multiple fronts, Axios reports.

Johnson's announcement comes as Senate negotiators prepare to roll out a comprehensive package that would fund Israel, Ukraine, the Indo-Pacific (oh, and border security funds are in there somewhere!).

In a letter to House Republicans obtained by Axios, Johnson wrote that Senate leadership has "eliminated the ability for swift consideration" of an emergency spending package by refusing to include House leadership in the talks.

"Given the Senate's failure to move appropriate legislation in a timely fashion, and the perilous circumstances currently facing Israel, the House will … take up and pass a clean, standalone Israel supplemental package," Johnson's letter reads.

Johnson noted that the IRS offset was the "primary objection" Democrats had to the previous Israel bill, and that the Senate will "no longer have excuses … against swift passage of this critical support for our ally."

More via Axios:

The backdrop: The House passed a $14.3 billion aid package to Israel in November, shortly after Johnson took office, but Democrats and even some Republicans were upset that its spending was paired with cuts to the IRS.

  • Just a dozen of the most staunchly pro-Israel House Democrats voted for the bill, many vocally criticizing the IRS piece, and it was blocked from consideration in the Senate.
  • The Senate has spent months trying to craft a comprehensive package that would pair Ukraine funding with border security provisions, but Republicans’ openness to such a deal has waned as the talks dragged on.