House Speaker Mike Johnson on Monday announced legislation to provide Israel with $14.3 billion in aid amid Jerusalem’s ongoing conflict with the terrorist group Hamas.
The package would deliver the sum requested by President Joe Biden in his own security package. Unlike the White House plan, however, the House plan would provide aid solely to Israel and offer no support to Ukraine. Biden had requested $61 billion in support for Kyiv amid the ongoing war with Russia.
Johnson, however, faces an uphill battle in the House to pass the bill, as Democrats hope to pair any support for Israel with support for Ukraine, while conservatives in the chamber have expressed opposition to sending more money overseas amid the U.S.’s own financial woes.
Offsetting the cost, however, would be matching cuts to the Internal Revenue Service, according to Politico. Specifically, it would reclaim some of the funding assigned to the agency to hire 87,000 new agents from the Inflation Reduction Act. Those funds have long come under Republican scrutiny, with many worrying that an enlarged IRS would unduly target middle and lower income Americans.
The package itself would provide funding to defend American service branches to secure military equipment, as well as directly fund Israeli missile and laser defense systems. It would provide $4.4 billion for use on “attacks in Israel.”
While both the White House and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have sought to pair Ukraine and Israel aid, Johnson’s bid to separate the two has some support among Senate Republicans, a group of whom introduced their own Israel-only aid package last week. That measure did not, however, include offsetting cuts to the IRS.