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Speaker Johnson to bring separate Israel, Ukraine bills to US House vote, White House signals opposition

Military aid bill for Israel faces large hurdles to pass in US House

U.S. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) makes a statement to members of the news media in Washington, U.S., Feb. 27, 2024 (Photo: REUTERS/Leah Millis)

The White House on Monday signaled its opposition to passing four separate bills in the U.S. House of Representatives this week that would allocate military aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, as suggested by U.S. Speaker Mike Johnson.

U.S. National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby said the White House would not agree to separate support for Israel from aid requests from Ukraine and Taiwan.

“We would oppose a stand-alone bill that would just work on Israel,” said Kirby.

Shortly before Kirby’s comments, U.S. President Joe Biden restated his commitment to Israel's security following Iran's large-scale missile and drone attack against Israel in the early morning hours on Sunday, which was thwarted with assistance from U.S. forces and several other countries.

“Together with our partners, we defeated that attack,” Biden said before meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Sudani.

According to reports, an additional bill would package aid-related measures, such as a lend-lease deal for military aid; a ban on TikTok in the U.S.; and provisions to sell off assets seized from Russian oligarchs.

“We’re going to try again this week, and the details of that package are being put together right now. We’re looking at the options, and all these supplemental issues,” Johnson told FOX News.

The idea to separate the bills was suggested following the failure of a bipartisan bill in the Senate last month that included military aid for all three beleaguered countries.

Johnson’s plan faces large hurdles, as it will require near-unanimous support from his own party to bring the bills up for passage in a procedure called a “rules vote.” In addition, Johnson would need prior approval from the GOP Rules Committee, which includes conservative members disinclined to green-light the allocation of aid to Ukraine.

Some Republican lawmakers already expressed their objections due to the lack of border security measures and their resistance to Ukraine aid.

On the other hand, several moderate and swing-district House Democrats said their votes would depend on the inclusion of humanitarian aid measures in the bills, according to Axios.

House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries didn’t comment on whether he expected the package would find Democratic support, saying, “We’re not going to come to any conclusion about the process until we understand the substance.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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