The House Republican Conference has drafted a bill that would provide military aid to Israel funded by redistributed funds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
On Oct. 19, President Joe Biden delivered a speech from the Oval Office calling on Americans to support his administration’s proposed legislation that sends $100 billion of military aid to both Ukraine in its war against Russia and Israel in its conflict against Hamas, with some money being appropriated for border security and immigration processing. Amid widespread opposition among Republicans regarding aid to Ukraine, the House Republican Conference unveiled a bill that would allocate $14.3 billion for military aid only to Israel, offsetting the cost with repurposed funds from a portion of the $80 billion to the IRS enacted in the Inflation Reduction Act.
The bill, known as the Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, calls for the spending of money to procure weapons, ammunition and missiles, according to its text. It also allocates $1.2 billion to support Israel’s efforts to develop a laser-based missile defense system against rocket attacks from Hamas in Gaza, known as the “Iron Beam” program, which is also a priority that the administration’s proposed legislation would fund.
The bill was reportedly introduced by Republican Rep. Kay Granger of Texas’ 12th District, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, according to the New York Post. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate by Republican Sens. Roger Marshall of Kansas and J.D. Vance of Ohio.
The bill would also allocate $100 million to increase security for U.S. diplomatic missions in Israel and the surrounding region that have faced threats following the United States’ declaration of support for Israel after the attacks. It would further allocate $5o million to evacuate U.S. citizens from the country during hostilities.
The demand for a single bill regarding Israel, aid to which enjoys bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress, has been a refrain of Republican members of Congress since Biden announced his package. However, the reduction of funds from the IRS, which has been a target of House Republicans during the 118th Congress, is likely to be opposed by the Democratic-controlled Senate.
The White House and the office of the speaker of the House of Representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Arjun Singh on October 30, 2023