WASHINGTON — Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., told Republicans on Saturday that the House will vote next week on a stand-alone bill to provide aid to Israel without spending cuts.
Johnson made the announcement in an afternoon letter to colleagues criticizing him pending Senate legislation It would combine Israeli aid with funding for Ukraine and a package deal tighter border security and asylum laws.
“Even as the Senate prepares to finally release the text of its supplemental package after months of closed-door negotiations, their leadership knows that by excluding the House, they have eliminated the possibility of any swift passage of legislation.” Johnson wrote, adding that the House “will have to exercise its will on these matters and focus on our priorities.”
Johnson criticized the Senate for what he called a “failure to act on appropriate legislation in a timely manner” and argued that the House must act in the absence of upper house leadership given the “dangerous situation Israel is currently facing.”
“Next week we will accept and accept a clean, independent Israel supplemental package,” he wrote. “During the House debate and in numerous subsequent statements, Democrats have made it clear that their primary objection to the original House bill is its offsets. No matter how wrong the Senate may be, they will no longer have any excuses against the swift passage of this critical support for our ally.”
Johnson’s office said the bill would include $17.6 billion in military aid to Israel, as well as essential funding for US forces in the region. A a bill previously passed by the chamberAt the beginning of Johnson’s speech, Israel would have received $14.3 billion in aid. Added to IRS deductions Democrats said it was a poison pill.
The bill, called the Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, will be introduced by Rep. Ken Calvert of California, the speaker’s office said.
This unexpected move shows that Johnson is starting to dig in his heels immigration relief and Funding of UkraineWhile suggesting that Israeli aid is the only part of President Joe Biden’s national security supplemental request, House Republicans are willing to accept it.
It is unclear whether the Senate will accept Israeli aid on its own. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he wants to begin voting on a broader supplemental and immigration bill next week, with the text expected to be released Sunday.
The White House, along with National Security Council strategic communications coordinator John Kirby, has previously said it opposes an independent Israel aid bill. saying In November, “the president will veto the single Israel bill. We — I think we’ve made that clear.”