The U.S. House of Representatives has passed an aid package for Israel.
The House, under the leadership of newly-elected speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), did so on Thursday, according to Fox News.
The final tally was 226 to 196. This 226 number consists of almost all Republicans and 12 Democrats.
Two Republicans, however, did vote against the bill, namely, U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Thomas Massie (R-KY).
In the bill, the House approves of sending $14,5 billion in military aid to Israel. But, there is a catch, namely, the spending has to be offset by cuts elsewhere.
So, where are the cuts going to be made?
Fox reports, "Under the bill brought by House Republicans, that funding will be reallocated from money that was meant for the IRS in President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act."
For many House Republicans, this is exactly what they were looking for from Johnson's new leadership.
As U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL) put it
Israel has every right defend itself from the brutal attacks we have been witnessing over the past month. With this piece of legislation, we are helping an ally in need while also cutting funding from Joe Biden’s weaponized IRS. These funds are better used supporting Israel than being used by IRS agents to audit middle class Americans.
According to the Associated Press, President Joe Biden has already made it clear that he will veto this aid package for Israel should it make it to his desk.
Biden is clearly not happy with the cut to the Inflation Reduction Act. But, he is also not happy with the $14 billion standalone bill. Biden had previously requested an aid package of $100 billion that would be distributed mostly to Ukraine, while some of the money would go to Israel and others.
Having said all of that, it is not clear whether the House bill will even make it to Biden. The U.S. Senate is controlled by the Democrats, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has already claimed that the bill has no real chance of making it through the upper chamber.
We'll have to see how this situation plays out. In the meantime, Johnson is urging both the Senate and the White House to take action.
Johnson has put out a statement, saying:
This [aid package] is necessary and critical assistance as Israel fights for its right to exist. With antisemitism on the rise both domestically and abroad, it’s imperative that the US sends a message to the world that threats made against Israel and the Jewish people will be met with strong opposition. The Senate and White House cannot let this moment pass, and I urge them to act swiftly and pass this bill as the House did today.