OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
6:25 PM – Tuesday, February 6, 2024
The United States House failed to pass stand-alone emergency aid to Israel worth $17.6 billion amid cross-party criticism and resistance from the White House.
On Tuesday, a stand-alone $17.6 billion Israel aid bill was denied by the House.
The measure, which was voted down 250–180, was intended to support the United States ally in its war against Hamas.
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) had been mandated to introduce the new bill under a procedure requiring approval by a two-thirds majority of the House due to opposition from members of the House Freedom Caucus. This means that while the majority of the votes fell in his favor, he was unable to garner the necessary number of Democrat votes to support it.
In December, Republicans rejected a bipartisan border security-foreign aid agreement negotiated in the Senate.
The bipartisan Senate legislation included funding and policy changes aimed at immigration and border security, as well as aid to Taiwan and Ukraine. One of the substantial components of the legislation was aid to Israel.
Many Democrats were not happy that the Republicans rejected the agreement. The White House ridiculed it as a “cynical political maneuver.”
“It’s just a political stunt by the Republicans and the speaker,” said Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), a ranking member of the Appropriations Committee. “This political stuff does not include any humanitarian assistance.”
Prior to the Tuesday vote, House Democrat leadership presented party members with a compelling argument against supporting the stand-alone Israel aid package during a closed caucus meeting. As they left the meeting, dozens of Democrats claimed that they would vote against the bill.
The leading Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, Representative Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), referred to the stand alone aid bill as “a trap.”
President Joe Biden threatened to veto the bill if it had passed, citing his desire to incorporate the stand-alone Israel aid bill into a larger national security package.
Congress has yet to come up with legislation that could approve vital funding for the foreign ally.
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