House Republicans Introduce Bill: Increased Military Aid to Israel, Excludes Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are set to proceed with a $17.6 billion package aimed at supplying military aid to Israel and restocking U.S. weapons. However, the proposal excludes additional assistance for Ukraine, highlighting the challenges faced by proponents of a comprehensive national security package that would also allocate billions of dollars for immigration enforcement.

This move provides Speaker Mike Johnson and House Republicans an opportunity to demonstrate their support for Israel, even though the likelihood of Senate approval is minimal. Meanwhile, a more extensive Senate compromise is anticipated to be unveiled this weekend, with a pivotal test vote scheduled for the upcoming week.

Johnson emphasized that Senate leadership’s omission of the House from their negotiations eliminates the possibility of swift consideration for any legislation. In a letter to colleagues, he stated, “As I have consistently mentioned for the past three months, the House must determine its stance on these issues, and our priorities must be addressed.”

In November, the House sanctioned a nearly $14.5 billion military aid package for Israel, but the Senate declined to take it up. Republicans insisted on offsetting the costs with cuts elsewhere, targeting the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). However, the Congressional Budget Office reported that such cuts would result in a net cost of $12.5 billion to the federal government due to lost revenue from tax collections.

Johnson highlighted that removing these offsets should expedite the passage of the Israel aid. He noted in his letter, “Democrats made it clear during the House debate and in subsequent statements that their main objection to the original bill was its offsets. The Senate will no longer have any excuses, however misguided, against the swift approval of this crucial support for our ally.”

Representative Ken Calvert, R-Calif., unveiled the text of the military assistance bill for Israel. The proposal allocates $4 billion to replenish missile defense systems and $1.2 billion to counter short-range rockets and mortar threats. Additionally, funding is designated for the procurement of advanced weapons systems and the enhancement of artillery and munitions production.

To safeguard U.S. readiness, the support includes $4.4 billion to replenish U.S. weapon stocks provided to Israel, along with $3.3 billion for ongoing U.S. military operations in the region.


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