The US Congress has approved a new aid package for Israel totalling over $14 billion. The bill comes after calls for further US support from President Biden for Israel in the ongoing conflict in the region.
The bill passed with 226 votes for versus 196 voting against it. The Republican dominated lower House of Representatives approved the bill with the support of 12 Democrats also. The bill has received criticism for its omittance of Ukraine, with the US offering no new aid to them. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is under investigation for corruption and misappropriation of funds.
The bill has also received criticism from President Joe Biden and house Democrats as it sets out to spend a fraction of the $106 billion proposed last month by the President.
New Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson said that the US “stands with Israel” as well as arguing that even fiscally conservative politicians “understand the necessity” of the bill. The limited aid is a product of Republican fiscal conservatism.
The bill comes at the expense of government spending in other departments. The house Republicans do not wish to spend more money than necessary, hence the moving of funds as opposed to a brand new fund creation. Johnson attributes this to “responsible government spending.” The new bill suggests that a Republican administration would be reluctant or strict to invest in foreign conflicts and offer aid.
Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y), has argued that bill is “unserious” and that the $106 billion proposed last month should represent the US contribution to supporting Israel. President Joe Biden has also vowed to veto the bill, should it pass through the Senate. While the bill may not succeed, it is a smart political move from Republicans to enforce their fiscal conservatism ahead of the 2024 election.
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