© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) delivers remarks on the outer steps of the House of Representatives after he was elected to be the new Speaker at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., October 25, 2023. REUTERS/Nathan How
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson said on Wednesday he plans to hold a vote on a standalone Israel aid bill despite a Congressional Budget Office report showing it could increase the federal deficit.
In the first major legislative action under Johnson, House Republicans unveiled their bill on Monday seeking to provide $14.3 billion for Israel by cutting Internal Revenue Service (IRS) funding. The House could vote on the bill and pass it with Republican support as soon as Thursday. But it is unlikely to become law, as it faces stiff opposition in the Democratic-controlled Senate and the White House has threatened a veto. headtopics.com
Democrats and some Republicans oppose the plan, choosing instead to support Democratic President Joe Biden’s request for a $106-billion bill including funding for Ukraine’s war effort, increased border security, humanitarian aid and efforts to push back against China in the Indo-Pacific, as well as money for Israel.
Johnson voted against aid to Ukraine before he became speaker, but Republican Senator Josh Hawley said he told a group of senators at a lunch meeting on Wednesday that he does support some money for the Kyiv government, just not combined with Israel aid.But Johnson told Fox News in an interview on Wednesday that Ukraine’s funding would be linked with border security. headtopics.com
Johnson rejected that assessment, telling reporters:”We don’t put much credence in what the CBO says.”Democrats accused Johnson’s Republicans of wasting time by backing a partisan measure rather than a bill that would pass quickly to address the crisis following the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Iran-backed Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip.