Emergency aid for Israel fails House vote

Standalone Republican-backed bill spending $17.6 billion in support of Israel’s war on Hamas fails in the House as White House slams bid as ‘cynical political maneuver.’

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives failed to pass a standalone spending bill providing $17.6 billion in aid to Israel Tuesday, despite support from more than 30 Democratic lawmakers.

The bill, pushed by Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson, would have offered funds to support Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas without allocating money for additional foreign aid or passing a border security bill under consideration in the Senate.

Hosting Israeli Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana in the House, Speaker Johnson urged Congress to pass the bill.

“There’s no time for hesitation.”

“History beckons us to act boldly and decisively to defend Israel and our own citizens.”

House Republicans had hoped to pass the standalone bill in an expedited procedure, thus decoupling funding for emergency aid to Israel from the larger Senate bill supported by the Biden White House.

But to pass the expedited bill, Republicans in the lower chamber required a two-thirds majority from the 435-member House.

While the Israel aid bill received a majority of 250 votes in favor to 180 against, it fell short of the two-thirds threshold.

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Nearly 40 Democrats crossed partisan lines to back the bill, while over a dozen Republicans voted against it. Republicans currently hold only a narrow majority of 219 seats in the House.

Some Democrats criticized the bill, suggesting it was never intended to actually be passed, given Democratic control of the Senate and Biden’s pledge to veto the standalone bill.

“It’s just a political stunt by the Republicans and the speaker,” Connecticut Democrat Rosa DeLauro, a member of the House Appropriations Committee said. “This political stuff does not include any humanitarian assistance.”

Conservative Republicans have sought to undermine the Senate bill, which would include billions in aid to Ukraine, Gaza, and other locales around the world.

The Senate proposal also includes a bipartisan border security deal, which conservative critics say would cement failed immigration policies.