April 21, 2024

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House Republicans propose shifting funds to aid Israel, sparking a political clash.

House Republicans have presented a plan to allocate $14.3 billion in aid to Israel by reducing funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This proposal has sparked a disagreement with the Senate Democrats, who currently hold the majority. It marks one of the initial significant policy actions led by the newly elected House Speaker, Mike Johnson.

Mike Johnson, who had previously opposed providing aid to Ukraine, seeks to separate the matters of aid for Israel and Ukraine. This separation is in contrast to President Joe Biden’s request for a $106 billion package that would encompass both countries and address border security.

Johnson’s aim is to enhance oversight of the funds allocated to Ukraine, particularly as it faces ongoing challenges related to Russian aggression. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba remains optimistic about securing additional support for Ukraine’s military from the US House of Representatives.

Despite the political resistance faced by this bill, House Republicans believe that support for Israel is a distinct and critical concern, emphasizing its importance in the realm of US national security. This perspective has emerged following the Hamas attack on October 7, which resulted in significant casualties and hostage situations.

Democrats have expressed disapproval of the House Republicans’ introduction of a partisan bill, asserting that it obstructs Congress’s ability to provide aid to Israel. The White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, has criticised the Republicans for “politicising national security” and has deemed their bill an impractical option. To become law, this bill would require approval from both houses of Congress and the signature of President Joe Biden.

The House Rules Committee is scheduled to review the Republican-sponsored Israel bill on Wednesday, further intensifying the ongoing debates and discussions surrounding this matter.