Separate bills for billions in foreign aid for Israel and Ukraine not a done deal in GOP-led House

How much and to whom? One bill or two? Legislators are all over the map on funding assistance to Israel and Ukraine. "We are $33 TRILLION in debt and our wide open border is a national security crisis," Rep. Greene said. Senate leaders expressed support for an aid package that includes both Ukraine and Israel in one piece of legislation.

Published: October 30, 2023 11:00pm

Newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has made clear he’ll propose separate spending bills this week for billions in assistance to both Ukraine and Israel but his conference isn’t in full support of the plan.

The decision marks his first big move since becoming speaker last week and it's already drawing criticism from some in his own party who are not on board with spending more money on foreign wars.

The proposal also appears to be facing bipartisan headwinds in the Senate, given that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer have expressed support for providing such funding as one package.

The White House has proposed its own $105 billion aid package that includes Ukraine war funding as well as Israel war funding and humanitarian assistance.

Johnson, R-La., said that he plans to seek offsets to pay for the additional aid that the House considers.  As of Monday, the specific proposed spending cuts would come from Internal Revenue Service funding. 

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., have said they will oppose additional aid to Israel for its war against Hamas.

"If Congress sends $14.5 billion to Israel, on average we’ll be taking about $100 from every working person in the United States. This will be extracted through inflation and taxes. I’m against it," wrote Massie on X. Massie also said he would still oppose the plan with offsets, describing the additional foreign aid as "new spending" that would be paid for with cuts.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., revealed that she also plans to vote against providing the additional aid to Israel, which has declared war on the Palestinian militant group Hamas that launched deadly attacks on Israel several weeks ago. 

"We are $33 TRILLION in debt and our wide open border is a national security crisis," Greene said.

Massie wrote on X that the U.S. has already provided $3.8 billion to Israel and the $14 billion would be on top of it. It appears that Massie also intends to vote against additional aid to Ukraine too.

The U.S. government has spent at least $75 billion in assistance to Ukraine since the Russian invasion, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

​"High rates on mortgages and car loans, as well as price increases at grocery stores, are due to government over-spending. To pay for excessive spending, we borrow and print money, which causes inflation and higher interest rates. I’m voting No on foreign aid to put [America] first," Massie wrote.  ​

On the Senate side, Republicans like Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., poured cold water on McConnell's support for tying Israel and Ukraine aid together.

“We need to start breaking the mold around here. This isn’t working. We’re $33.5 trillion in debt,” he said, according to The Hill. ”The old way of doing business has failed, is failing. We need to approach things differently. From my standpoint, within [the] Republican conference we need a different form of governance,” he added.

Sen. Michael Bennett, D-Colo., said separate Israel and Ukraine funding bills would be dead on arrival in the Senate. 

Once the Israel and Ukraine foreign aid debate is settled, Congress has until November 17 to pass an appropriations bill to fund U.S. government operations for the rest of fiscal year 2024.

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