June 23, 2024

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House Speaker Johnson announces ‘standalone’ Israel funding package

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Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) holds a news conference following a caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on January 30, 2024 in Washington, DC. 

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., on Saturday announced an Israel-only funding package to be voted on next week, another step in the deadlocked negotiations over emergency aid that President Joe Biden initially proposed in October.

The House proposal comes as a challenge to a long-awaited Senate package that is expected to be released this weekend. The Senate’s bill is expected to include broader foreign aid than just Israel and address border security funding.

But the Republican-majority House has voiced its intention to be hard on the Senate’s proposal, especially as Johnson tries to appease Republican hardliners who expect him to deliver on their ultraconservative wish list to limit spending and maximize border security.

“While the Senate appears poised to finally release text of their supplemental package after months of behind closed door negotiations, their leadership is aware that by failing to include the House in their negotiations, they have eliminated the ability for swift consideration of any legislation,” Johnson wrote in a letter he addressed to “Friends.”

“Next week, we will take up and pass a clean, standalone Israel supplemental package,” the speaker added.

The House bill includes $17.6 billion for Israel’s military and U.S. military forces in the region as the war with Hamas in Gaza continues. If approved, this funding would add to the $14.3 billion that the House passed for Israel in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack.

This bill separates aid to Israel from Ukraine, Taiwan and the U.S. southern border, all of which were linked in Biden’s original $105 billion aid proposal. That initial bill included $61 billion for Ukraine, $14.3 billion for Israel, $6.4 billion for the U.S. border and $2 billion for Taiwan.

But disagreements over how to address the U.S….



2024-02-03 14:43:00

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