House Republicans have rolled out a bill giving $14.3 billion in aid to Israel, while cutting into cash President Biden allocated toward the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) last year.
The 13-page bill released on Monday would completely offset the foreign aid by rescinding those funds from the Inflation Reduction Act passed last year. Specifically, it targets some of the $80 billion the package gave to the IRS.
It comes as Israel continues to fight a bloody war against terror group Hamas. Hamas militants attacked Israeli towns and villages earlier this month, killing most of the 1,400 casualties Israel has seen in the conflict so far. Thousands of Palestinians have also been killed.
Israel is shaping up to be the first big test for newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., whose first act on the House floor as leader was to pass a bipartisan resolution condemning Hamas.
He’s expected to hold a vote on the Israel aid bill on Thursday.
It will likely put Democrats in a tough spot between the political fallout of rejecting Israel aid and the bill’s removal of funds from Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.
And the bill puts Johnson at odds with the Democrat-controlled Senate and White House, both of which are pushing for Israel aid to be tied with dollars for Ukraine’s defense against Russia.
However, the cuts to IRS funding is likely to please conservatives – Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, told Hill Country Patriot Radio on Monday that he would support Israel aid if it was offset with budget cuts.
“The American people must see that it’s going to cost something if we’re going to give another $14 billion to Israel. So I’m for it. But it should be paid for…with real money, not budgetary gimmicks,” Roy said.
Earlier this month Biden asked Congress to approve a mammoth $106 billion supplemental funding request with $14.3 billion for Israel, more than $60 billion for Ukraine, just over $13 billion for U.S. border security and an additional $10 billion in humanitarian assistance.
Johnson made clear he would not be putting the entire package together on the House floor, something a significant number of conservatives also opposed.
“We are going to move a standalone Israel funding bill this week in the House. I know our colleagues, our Republican colleagues in the Senate, have a similar measure,” Johnson told “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“There are lots of things going on around the world that we have to address, and we will. But right now, what’s happening in Israel takes the immediate attention. And I think we’ve got to separate that and get it through. I believe there will be bipartisan support for that, and I’m going to push very hard for it.”
Just two Republican lawmakers have come out against the Israel funding so far, GOP hardliner Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Thomas Massie, R-Ky.
Last week a group of GOP senators led by Sens. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, introduced a bill in the Senate to strip the $14.3 billion in Israel funding from Biden’s request to move it on its own.