Congressional Debate Over Funding Israel Intensifies

Congressional Debate Over Funding Israel Intensifies
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Lawmakers are sharpening their focus on aid to Israel this week, with Republicans and Democrats weighing a House GOP aid bill as the November government funding deadline creeps close. 

House Democrats will face a tough vote this week after Republicans, led by Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), unveiled a $14.3 billion Israel aid bill that incorporates offsets from the IRS budget but excludes funding for Ukraine. House Democrats have been vocal about the need to send additional aid to Israel following Hamas’s unprecedented attack on the U.S. ally last month,write The Hill’s Mychael Schnell and Mike Lillis. During the three-week Speaker saga, Democrats pushed their Republican colleagues to coalesce around a leader so the House could return to business and send aid to Tel Aviv.  

Johnson is set to meet with GOP Senators about the measure today — ahead of a proposed Thursday vote in the House — setting up a tense encounter as House and Senate Republicans remain at odds over assisting Israel and Ukraine ahead of a Nov. 17 deadline to keep the government funded (CNN). 

Senate Republicans are battling among themselves over what to do with the House proposal. As The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports, GOP senators want to support Johnson, but moving Israel money without assistance for Ukraine jeopardizes Ukraine’s efforts to win the war against Russia. Getting President Biden’s $105 billion foreign assistance package across the finish line will be a major test of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) leadership. McConnell has repeatedly said the two issues are related. He specifically tied Israel and Ukraine together on Monday in a speech introducing the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. at an event in Louisville (NPR). 

Johnson is set to meet with GOP Senators about the measure today — ahead of a proposed Thursday vote in the House — setting up a tense encounter as House and Senate Republicans remain at odds over assisting Israel and Ukraine ahead of a Nov. 17 deadline to keep the government funded (CNN). 

Senate Republicans are battling among themselves over what to do with the House proposal. As The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports, GOP senators want to support Johnson, but moving Israel money without assistance for Ukraine jeopardizes Ukraine’s efforts to win the war against Russia. Getting President Biden’s $105 billion foreign assistance package across the finish line will be a major test of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) leadership. McConnell has repeatedly said the two issues are related. He specifically tied Israel and Ukraine together on Monday in a speech introducing the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. at an event in Louisville (NPR). 

The House strategy creates complications ahead of a fast-approaching Nov. 17 deadline and a potential shutdown. Schumer, complaining about “poison pills” floated by the House, said the House approach includes “no aid to Ukraine, no humanitarian assistance for Gaza, no funding for the Indo-Pacific.” 

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