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House GOP passes Israel aid bill

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The House’s $14.3 billion Israel aid bill cleared the House largely on party lines and is headed towards a brick wall in the Senate.

Senate leaders from both parties want Israel aid tied to funding for Ukraine, Taiwan and U.S.-Mexico border security. And Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has panned Speaker Mike Johnson’s attempt to cut IRS funding to pay for the cash to Israel. The measure passed the House 226-196.

Democrats were in near lockstep against the bill to bolster Israel, citing the IRS cuts as an untenable condition to put on aid to the United States’ closest ally in the Middle East. Just twelve Democrats, outspoken Israel allies, voted in favor of the bill.

Two Republicans, Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Thomas Massie (Ky.), bucked their party to vote against the bill. Both have been longtime critics of U.S. foreign aid in general.

The Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday that the bill would increase the federal deficit by $26.8 billion over the next decade, a report Republicans have shrugged off.

“I did not attach that for political purposes, OK. I attached it because, again, we’re trying to get back to the principle of fiscal responsibility here,” Johnson said Thursday. “And that was the easiest and largest pile of money that’s sitting there for us to be able to pay for this immediate obligation.”

Johnson committed to passing a Ukraine aid package after the Israel measure, but said it would need to be tied to policy changes that would tighten restrictions on the southern border — a move that could also face opposition in the Senate.

“I am glad that the president issued a veto threat over this stunningly unserious proposal,” Schumer said Thursday. “The Senate will not be considering this deeply flawed proposal from the House GOP.”