Conservatives plot new Israel aid plan with spending cuts after Johnson bill goes down in flames

First appearance on Fox: House conservatives on Tuesday night rejected a “clean” bill that would have provided funding to allies in the Middle East, seeking ways to send aid to Israel while cutting spending elsewhere. .

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) has proposed a bill that would provide $17.6 billion in military and security assistance to America’s largest Middle East ally while also rescinding $22 billion earmarked for the Commerce Department’s Contingency Fund. has been submitted.

This comes after 14 Republican senators voted against a bill that would give the same amount to Israel. Many, including Biggs, said they support aid to Israel but want it to be paid for with other federal spending cuts.

“Israel remains America’s greatest ally and must be protected from barbaric forces like Hamas,” Biggs told Fox News Digital. “My bill gives us the opportunity to support Israel without borrowing money. If we are going to fund Israel, we must get serious about defunding the Democratic Party’s radical priorities.”

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Congressman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz., left) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Getty)

The $22 billion was allocated through the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), a bipartisan agreement signed last year between former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and President Biden to raise the debt ceiling. Conservatives opposed it.

Republican hardliners have previously criticized the non-recurring expense fund as a “slush fund,” accusing McCarthy and Biden of making a “side deal” during debt ceiling negotiations.

One of Louisiana Republican Mike Johnson’s first acts as new speaker was to pass a $14.3 billion aid package for Israel in the full House. But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.N.Y.), who wanted these funds to be part of a broader request for additional funding for Ukraine and Taiwan, vetoed the bill, calling the offset a “poison pill.” called.

Biggs’ bill is called the Fiscally Responsible Israel Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2024, according to documents obtained by Fox News Digital.

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House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) unsuccessfully introduced an Israel aid bill to the floor this week. (Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

Like the bill introduced by Johnson, the aid would only go to Israel and would not include humanitarian funding for Gaza, which Democrats have been demanding.

This is because Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), a member of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus like Biggs, told Fox News Digital that Republican hardliners could gain the support of the entire Republican Party. This comes after he said he was discussing what he believed to be the path to aiding Israel.

“We have ongoing conversations about what we need to do to support Israel, but we will act responsibly,” Roy said.

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“So we have to pay for that and/or deal with UNRWA and all the ridiculous things this administration is doing to fund Israel’s enemies and unwilling munitions. This means that the following must be taken into account. [Secretary of State Antony Blinken] is eroding [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] – and/or what we can do about our own borders. ”

Rep. Chip Roy

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) is looking for ways to fund Israel while cutting spending. (Getty Images)


“But now I’m sending blank emails,” Roy added. [check], it doesn’t work. So we have to figure out a way to get something, and that’s what we’re working on. ”

The $118 Supplemental Security Assistance Act, the product of months of bipartisan talks with the Senate and White House, failed to overcome Republican opposition, even though Republican lawmakers celebrated the talks. It was submitted in response to this. The bill would overhaul the U.S. asylum system as well as provide aid to Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and Gaza.

Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are now pushing for additional aid legislation without border provisions.

The White House threatened to veto Johnson’s $17.6 billion Israel aid bill, despite the lack of spending offsets. In comments to reporters Wednesday, Johnson criticized President Biden and the majority of House Democrats who voted against the bill.

“The President of the United States…threatened to veto a funding measure for Israel. Then Chuck Schumer said he would lock down the Senate. He fielded 166 House Democrats and led Hakeem Jeffrey. They went off that cliff following the US. They took control of it, and they blocked the funding,” Johnson said. “They’re doing it for political purposes. It’s bad for national security.”

He did not say whether he would consider the Democratic Party’s new aid plan.