Feb 6, 2024 - Politics & Policy

House votes down Israel aid bill after bipartisan opposition

Mike Johnson

House Speaker Mike Johnson. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

The House on Tuesday defeated a $17.6 billion Israel aid package after it failed to get a 2/3 majority.

Why it matters: The GOP bill was designed to garner bipartisan support, but Democrats argued against what they termed a "cynical ploy" to undermine the Senate's comprehensive national security bill.

  • The final vote was 250 for and 180 against, which fell short of the 2/3 threshold. 14 Republicans joined Democrats in voting against the bill, while 46 Democrats voted for the bill.

The backdrop: Republicans attempted to lure Democratic votes for the bill by nixing IRS cuts they included in their Israel aid bill in November, which got support from just 12 Democrats.

  • But House Democratic leadership and the White House argued strongly against the bill – with Biden threatening a veto – saying it would undermine the Senate package and, in particular, aid to Ukraine.

The big picture: This puts the fate Israel aid even more in limbo as the Senate bill – which also funds Ukraine, Palestinian civilians, Taiwan and border security – appears dead due to GOP opposition.

  • Some lawmakers have suggested finding an alternate vehicle for the funds, such as the Defense Department appropriations bill or a comprehensive package that excludes border security.

What's next: Johnson told reporters he plans to bring the bill up next week under a process that requires only a simple majority.

  • The National Republican Congressional Committee also plans to go after Democrats who voted against the bill: "They've given us more examples than we could ever imagine to show ... voters in the middle that they're too far out of the mainstream to ever hold the House majority," said spokesperson Will Reinert.
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