Feb 5, 2024 - Politics & Policy

House Republicans slam Biden as "anti-Israel" following veto threat

Photographer: Ian Maule/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Photographer: Ian Maule/Bloomberg via Getty Images

GOP lawmakers are criticizing President Biden for issuing a veto threat against a clean Israel funding bill, saying it's "grossly irresponsible."

Why it matters: Republicans argue that Biden is playing politics with Israel funding, reminiscent of a claim Democrats made against House Republicans in November of politicizing funding by passing a $14.3 billion Israel package that included cuts to the IRS.

  • The new bill is expected to come up under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority.
  • While most GOP members support the clean Israel bill, members of the House Freedom Caucus came out against it for the lack of offsetting cuts.

What they're saying: Republicans fumed about the White House's position that they should support a bill that addresses the border, Ukraine and Israel — which appears dead in both chambers.

  • "All politics aside, the most galactically dumb thing that we can do is turn our partner away on a bill that would get bipartisan support just because of politics," Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.) told Axios.
  • "Biden's domestic policy is appeasing the radical left and his foreign policy is appeasing Iran. Supporting Israel goes against both," Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) told Axios.
  • "I think it's grossly irresponsible to threaten to veto that bill." Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) said. "I mean originally when we passed months ago we passed the bill to fund that Israel needed and the one complaint about it was they didn't like the pay-fors and the pay-fors are gone."

The big picture: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said the bill could have enough support to override a veto if Biden ultimately attempts to kill the bill.

  • "I don't understand that I need to help our best friend, the state of Israel," he told Axios. "I think there's plenty of votes in the House to pass it. If it passes on suspension that shows we can override his veto."
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