Mike Johnson Defends House GOP’s Israel Aid Plan – Newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson defended his approach to redirect IRS funds to provide aid to Israel on Sunday, saying Republicans are “trying to be good stewards of the taxpayer’s resources.” “Instead of printing new dollars or borrowing it from another nation to send over to fulfill our obligations and help our ally, we want to pay for it, what a concept, we are trying to change how Washington works,” Johnson told Shannon Bream on Fox News Sunday.
On Thursday, House Republicans approved a $14.5 billion bill, mainly along party lines, to allocate military aid to Israel. They reallocated funds from the IRS that were originally part of the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had previously dismissed the plan as lacking seriousness, and President Joe Biden has expressed his intention to veto the bill.
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“We weighed priorities and said, it is more important to protect Israel than to hire more IRS agents,” Johnson said. Both Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell want the Israel aid incorporated in a larger bill that also provides funding for Ukraine, Taiwan and the border. Their legislation is not dependent on pulling funding from the IRS.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana, argued in favor of the House GOP plan on ABC’s “This Week.” He stated that if the legislation is approved by the Senate, President Biden should endorse it, as it offers essential assistance. “If the Senate has an issue with the bill, they can take it up,” Scalise told host George Stephanopoulos.
“If they send it to the president, I have no doubt the president would sign that bill because it gives Israel the aid they need, again, with a bipartisan vote out of the House.” Johnson supported the House GOP’s strategy of linking Ukraine assistance to a border plan but didn’t specify whether he would consider including Israeli aid in the same arrangement.