Republican Party Unveils $14.3 Billion Israel Aid Bill That Would Cut IRS Funding

By | October 30, 2023

Washington – House Republicans want to pay for emergency aid to Israel by cutting IRS funding, setting off a collision with the White House and the Democratic-controlled Senate over how to support a key US ally -United.

The House GOP released a Stand-alone measure of $14.3 billion On Monday, it would fund aid to Israel by reducing the same amount of funding that was allocated to the IRS under the Inflation Reduction Act, one of President Biden’s signature pieces of legislation.

‘We’re going to pay for (the bill)’, House Speaker Mike Johnson said Fox News Monday. “We’re not just going to print money and send it overseas.”

Republican bill sets off battle for support for Israel, with Biden and Senate Democrats seeking to pair aid to Israel with tens of billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine, something opposed some House Republicans. The White House has asked Congress $105 billion aid package two weeks ago, including $14 billion for Israel and $61 billion for Ukraine.

Johnson, who supports splitting aid programs, acknowledged that IRS cuts would be unpopular among Democrats, but said he plans to call Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for a “direct” and “thoughtful” conversation.

“I understand their priority is to strengthen the IRS,” Johnson told Fox News. “But I think if you put this before the American people and they weigh the two needs, I think they’re going to say that standing with Israel and protecting the innocent people there is in our national interest and is a more immediate need than IRS agents.”

President sign The Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law in 2022, and it included hundreds of billions of dollars for Democratic priorities related to climate change, health care costs and taxes. It also increased IRS funding by $80 billion, allowing the agency to hire thousands of agents and revamp decades-old technology systems. Experts said the improvements and increased hiring were long overdue and would improve the agency’s ability to process tax returns, but the provision was highly unpopular among Republican lawmakers.

Regarding aid to Ukraine, Johnson said he wanted more accountability for the billions of dollars spent by the United States to help repel the Russian invasion, specifically asking the White House to detail where the money goes and what is the outcome of the conflict. East.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the bill a “non-starter” and said it would “set an unacceptable precedent that calls into question our commitment to one of our most close allies.

“Demanding compensation to meet basic U.S. national security needs – such as supporting Israel and defending Ukraine against Russian atrocities and imperialism – would constitute a break with the normal bipartisan process and could have devastating implications for our security and our alliances in the years to come,” she said in a statement on Monday.

Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, said Monday that offsetting emergency aid with cuts to the IRS sets a “dangerous precedent.”

“House Republicans are setting a dangerous precedent by suggesting that protecting national security or responding to natural disasters depends on cuts to other programs,” the Connecticut Democrat said in a statement. “The partisan bill introduced by House Republicans blocks our ability to help Israel defend itself and does not include a cent for humanitarian aid.”

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said Monday she would prefer to pair aid to Ukraine and Israel.

Asked if she was concerned about offsetting emergency spending with budget cuts, she said: “Well, the question is where does it stop? »

The House Rules Committee plans to consider the Republican Party’s Israel bill on Wednesday.

Alan He contributed reporting.

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