A member of the United States House of Representatives Appropriations Committee has revealed that the committee has introduced a proposal for $17.6 billion in military aid for Israel.
The funding bill is anticipated to undergo a vote in the full House next week, as communicated by Speaker Mike Johnson in a letter to members. While the Republican-controlled House had previously approved $14.3 billion in new military aid for Israel, it was contingent on reclaiming a portion of funds designated for the US Internal Revenue Service.
However, the Democratic-controlled Senate opposed this provision. Instead, the Senate is expected to present a legislative package offering support to Israel and additional military assistance for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. The Senate bill may also include measures to enhance security along the southern US border with Mexico.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is taking steps to initiate debate on the multifaceted bill this week, with an initial procedural vote no later than Wednesday.
The $17.6 billion proposed by the House Appropriations Committee encompasses funds for replenishing Israel’s missile defense systems, acquiring advanced weapons systems, and manufacturing artillery and other munitions. Some of the funding is designated to restore US arms provided to Israel after the October 7 Hamas attack.
Highlighting the urgency of supporting both the closest ally and regional forces, Speaker Johnson emphasised the critical nature of the situation.
There remains uncertainty regarding potential resistance from far-right House members, who may seek equivalent budgetary savings elsewhere before approving funding for Israel. House Republicans have emphasised the necessity for strong new US border controls in tandem with any aid to Ukraine, especially amid record numbers of immigrants attempting to enter the United States.
While the Senate intends to address these concerns, Speaker Johnson has already expressed reservations about the adequacy of the Senate’s proposed border security package.
Before military aid to Israel or Ukraine can be enacted, both the House and Senate must pass the same bill, which will then be sent to President Joe Biden, a Democrat, for approval. The Senate is also considering the inclusion of aid to Taiwan as part of its comprehensive legislation.