Washington, DC (AP) House Republicans plan to move forward with a $17.6 billion proposal that will replenish American armaments and provide military support to Israel. The proposal, however, does not include any further funding for Ukraine, which underscores the difficulties that supporters of a comprehensive national security package that includes billions of dollars for immigration enforcement are facing.
Speaker Mike Johnson and House Republicans have an opportunity to show their support for Israel with this measure, even though there is little chance that the Senate will approve it. A crucial test vote is slated for next week, and this weekend is expected to see the unveiling of a more comprehensive Senate deal.
Johnson underlined that the House’s exclusion from negotiations by the Senate leadership precludes any measure from receiving prompt consideration. He wrote to colleagues, saying, “As I have been saying for the last three months, the House needs to decide where it stands on these issues and we need to focus on our priorities.”
A nearly $14.5 billion military aid plan for Israel was approved by the House in November, but the Senate decided not to take it up. Republicans insisted on making cuts elsewhere, including to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in order to offset the expenses. However, due to decreased tax revenue, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that such changes would come at a net loss of $12.5 billion to the federal government.
Johnson emphasized that the passage of the Israel aid should proceed more quickly with the removal of these offsets. In his letter, he pointed out that Democrats made it apparent in the House discussion and in speeches that followed that their primary grievance with the original measure was with its offsets. The Senate will no longer be able to cite any justification—no matter how misplaced—to delay the speedy ratification of this vital support for our ally.
The language of the military aid package for Israel was revealed by Representative Ken Calvert, a Republican from California. $4 billion will be used under the proposal to resupply missile defense systems, while $1.2 billion would be used to address threats posed by mortars and short-range rockets. Funding is also allocated for the acquisition of cutting-edge weaponry and the improvement of artillery and ammunition manufacture.
In order to protect American preparedness, the assistance consists of $3.3 billion for continuous American military activities in the area and $4.4 billion to restock American weaponry supplied to Israel.
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