The House of Representatives has passed a bill providing $14.3 billion in Funding to Israel to support its ongoing conflict with the Hamas and Hezbollah terror groups. The measure received 226 votes in favor and 196 votes against, with 12 Democrats joining Republicans in support and only two Republicans voting against.
The Funding, which the Biden administration requested, was approved with the condition that an equal amount be cut from the IRS budget under the Inflation Reduction Act. The bill’s passage in the House, though not unanimous, was celebrated by Speaker Mike Johnson, who expressed gratitude for the support received but expressed a desire for broader bipartisan backing.
However, the bill’s future still remains uncertain, as it is expected to face opposition in the Senate. The White House has also signaled its disapproval, with National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby stating that President Biden would veto the measure if it reached his desk. The administration has argued that the bill injects partisanship into support for Israel and fails to include humanitarian assistance for Palestinians.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), part of the White House, issued a statement expressing concern over the bill’s approach. The OMB argued that the bill creates division and politicizes support for Israel while also setting a dangerous precedent by conditioning assistance on IRS funding cuts. The OMB referred to the IRS offset as a “poison pill.”
The bill’s provisions include $4.4 billion to replenish Israel’s defense stockpiles, along with allocations for army ammunition, naval weapons acquisitions, and air force missile procurement. Of particular note are the $4 billion earmarked for the Iron Dome missile defense and David’s Sling air defense systems, which play a crucial role in intercepting rockets and missiles launched by Hamas. The bill also includes Funding for research and development of Israel’s defense capabilities, including the Iron Beam defense system designed to intercept short-range rockets. Additionally, the bill designates $3.65 billion for State Department operations in Israel.
While Democrats have called for pairing assistance to Israel with aid to Ukraine, Republicans argue that the two issues should be considered separately. Nevertheless, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have both called for simultaneous passage of assistance to both Ukraine and Israel.
The United States has a longstanding history of providing assistance to Israel, dating back to before its independence in 1948. Over the years, Israel has received significant economic and military support from the U.S. Congress, which currently provides Israel with $3.8 billion annually, the majority of which is allocated toward defense assistance.