House GOP plans to vote on Israel aid as Senate tries to block Ukraine deal

Speaker Mike Johnson on Saturday promised a vote next week on legislation to expedite $17.6 billion in security aid to Israel, complicating Senate leaders' efforts to muster support for a broader package of border security measures. and aid to Ukraine.

Mr. Johnson's announcement to members of his conference came as senators took months to finalize and vote on a bipartisan national security bill. Mr. Johnson and former President Donald J. The move could further erode GOP support for the compromise, which is already flagging under criticism from party leaders like Trump.

Louisiana Republican Mr. Johnson said the Senate package would die once it reached the House, arguing its border security measures were insufficient to curb recent immigration. Instead, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. He said the House would focus its efforts on Mayorgas' impeachment — which is now expected to take place next week.

In a letter to his members on Saturday, he said the House would prioritize its own approach to aid Israel's war efforts against Hamas.

“Their leadership knows that by failing to include the House in their negotiations, they have eliminated their ability to quickly consider any legislation,” Mr. Johnson wrote, “The House must exercise discretion on these issues. Priorities must be addressed.”

Senate negotiators are crafting a national defense funding bill to address Republican demands that any legislation sending military aid to Ukraine must significantly improve security along Mexico's southern border. The emerging law, which includes measures to make it more difficult to claim asylum and increase both detention and deportation, will send more military aid to Ukraine and Israel, devote humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza and fund efforts to counter Chinese threats to India. Pacific region.

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Senator Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York and the majority leader, announced this week that the Senate would not vote later Wednesday on whether to accept the bill, the text of which negotiators are expected to release later Sunday.

But the move is already facing stiff headwinds from Senate Republicans who want tougher border enforcement rules, as well as those unwilling to take a politically challenging vote on a bill sure to die at the door of the GOP-led House. .

Many Republicans in the Senate and House have clamored for a divisive approach to confronting Israel's war effort separately from Ukraine and the border. Late last year, the Democratic-led Senate rejected a GOP effort to mandate one Vote on the previous Israel aid bill It was supported by the council. Democrats objected to the way the House GOP bill sought to fund the fund by making cuts to the Internal Revenue Service.

In a letter written on Saturday, Mr. Johnson acknowledges that history.

“Democrats have made it clear that their primary objection to the original House bill was with its offsets,” he wrote, and with the new Israel package, “the Senate will no longer have excuses, even if misled against speedy passage of this important support. Our ally.”

The new bill released by House appropriators is larger than the House's previous Israel measure, which totaled $14.3 billion. President Biden requested the amount to Israel as part of a larger request he made in October for additional funding to address various global crises, including Ukraine.

But it includes no funding for humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza, which many Democrats have insisted should be military aid to Israel.

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The $17.6 billion House measure would pay $4 billion to replenish Israel's missile defense systems, known as Iron Dome and David's Sling, and $1.2 billion to counter short-range rocket and mortar attacks. An additional $8.9 billion will go to providing Israel with weapons and related services, to help with its own production, and to supplement defense stocks already provided by the United States; 3.5 billion to support U.S. military operations, diplomatic security, and efforts to evacuate U.S. citizens in the region.

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