A package aimed at giving $17.6 billion to Israel failed to pass the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
It had been facing a veto threat from the White House, which is pushing for Congress to consider Israel aid as part of a larger $118 billion supplemental security package, along with pushback from GOP hardliners who wanted the price tag offset by spending cuts elsewhere.
Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., unveiled the legislation over the weekend while blasting the Senate and White House for excluding the House from talks over a supplemental security funding and border policy bill.
The House GOP bill was fast tracked for a vote on Tuesday under suspension of House rules — meaning it would bypass a procedural hurdle known as a rule vote in exchange for raising the threshold for passage to two-thirds of the chamber rather than a simple majority.
It ultimately failed to reach enough support, despite 250 lawmakers voting for it and 180 against. Forty-six Democrats voted in favor of the bill while 166 voted against. On the Republican side, 14 lawmakers voted down the Israel aid and 204 voted for it.
BLINKEN LANDS IN EGYPT FOR HELP MEDIATING AN ISRAEL-HAMAS DEAL
Speaker Mike Johnson unveiled a standalone bill providing $17.6 bill in aid to Israel over the weekend (Getty)
Rep. Michelle Steel, R-Calif., criticized lawmakers on both sides who did not support the bill after the failed vote.
“It is disappointing and unacceptable that so many Members failed to stand behind Israel as they defend their citizens from terrorists intent to wipe them off the map,” Steel told Fox News Digital. “We must have absolute moral clarity and resolve…History will remember those who choose to stay silent.”
Leaders of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus came out against the bill on Sunday over its lack of offsets.
One of Johnson’s first acts as speaker was putting a $14.3 billion Israel aid bill on the House floor, but the funding would have been offset by money Biden allocated to the IRS. The move was dismissed as a “poison pill” and a nonstarter by the Democratically-held Senate.
“Well, it’s unpaid for and our borders are wide open. I’m not gonna, can’t go to my constituents say here’s $17 billion, even for someone who I love like Israel, and a good friend, somebody I fully support, I can’t do that,” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, told Fox News Digital.
But Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., a conservative not part of the Freedom Caucus, argued that offsets such as the ones hardliners are demanding would do next to nothing to tackle the national debt, which he said would be solved by “[cutting] interest rates, [growing] the economy, and [reforming] mandatory spending.”
JOHNSON RIPS BIDEN’S THREAT TO VETO $17B ISRAEL AID BILL AS ‘ACT OF BETRAYAL’
Rep. Chip Roy told Fox News Digital he is against the clean Israel bill (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
“Many people pleaded, please have a pay-for, or else they’re gonna vote against it,” Murphy said of a Tuesday morning House GOP meeting. “And I get it. I understand it, absolutely. But in this particular instance, it’s just dust…we’re not going to make a dent in our debt.”
“People aren’t looking at the big picture…you have to understand a much greater geopolitical picture to really comprehend it.”
Meanwhile the White House and Democratic leaders in the House provided enough cover to their rank-and-file to kill the bill.
The Biden administration panned the bill as a “cynical political maneuver” made in response to the Senate’s bipartisan negotiations on security funding and border policy.
President Biden threatened to veto the bill if it comes to his desk (Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and his fellow Democrat leaders, announced on Tuesday afternoon that they would vote against the bill, declaring, “We are prepared to support any serious, bipartisan effort in connection with the special relationship between the United States and Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East. Unfortunately, the standalone legislation introduced by House Republicans over the weekend, at the eleventh hour without notice or consultation, is not being offered in good faith.”
Johnson suggested to reporters that he would bring the bill up for a vote again but via the regular order process including a rule vote and debate.