The US House of Representatives has approved a $14.3 billion aid bill for Israel, aimed at supporting its efforts against Hamas. However, the bill faces significant resistance in the Senate and a veto threat from the White House.
The Republican-led measure, which passed with a 226-196 vote, has drawn criticism for excluding funding for Ukraine, Taiwan, and the US-Mexico border, all of which were requested by the Biden administration.
The bill’s funding source, a proposed cut to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), has also come under scrutiny, with experts suggesting it may actually increase the federal deficit.
The partisan nature of the vote, with 12 Democrats joining Republicans in support and two Republicans voting against, highlights the contentious nature of the bill.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats have criticized the bill, calling it a “joke” and accusing House Republicans of politicizing aid to Israel.
House Speaker Mike Johnson defended the bill, emphasizing the importance of fiscal responsibility and asserting that aid for Ukraine and border security would be addressed separately.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized the need for significant support for both Israel and Ukraine for national security reasons.
Despite its passage in the House, the bill’s future remains uncertain, as Senate Democrats plan to pursue a bipartisan package that includes aid for Israel, Ukraine, and humanitarian assistance for Gaza. President Biden has also threatened to veto the bill should it reach his desk.