US Lawmakers Reject $17.6 Billion Aid Bill for Israel

On Tuesday (6/2/2024), members of the United States Congress voted to reject a proposed $17.6 billion aid bill for Israel, equivalent to Rp276 trillion.

Democratic Party leaders in the House of Representatives described the Israel aid bill as "a very clear and cynical attempt" to undermine a larger package.

The Israel bill surfaced as the White House leaned towards providing $60 billion in aid to Ukraine and $20 billion to Israel, while also allocating new funds for US border security, rather than providing aid to only one party.

"Unfortunately, the standalone legislation introduced by the Republican Party in the House over the weekend, without notice or consultation, was not done in good faith," said House Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries in his letter to colleagues, as quoted by AFP.

Republican Party members in the House initially scheduled a vote after the Democratic-led Senate released a bipartisan bill combining billions of dollars for Israel and Ukraine.

However, support for the $118 billion aid package has dwindled, as former President Donald Trump pressured the Republican Party not to give legislative victories to President Joe Biden ahead of the upcoming November elections.

A total of 167 Democratic Party members chose to vote against it after Biden threatened to use his veto power, angered by the bill's apparent aim to weaken the larger package agreed upon after months of negotiations with bipartisan Senate groups.

The standalone bill was also opposed by 13 Republican Party members for failing to include budget offsets, a demand pushed by conservatives for any new spending proposals.

One of Johnson's first actions when he took office in the fall was to introduce a bill to the House that would provide $14.3 billion to Israel. However, this included significant cuts to the Internal Revenue Service, which was opposed by Biden.

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