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House passes $14.3 billion in aid to Israel, setting up Senate fight

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks during his first official press conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Although the bill's passage was his first major victory in the job, it almost immediately attracted opposition from the Senate and the White House.

 Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks during his first official press conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Although the bill's passage was his first major victory in the job, it almost immediately attracted opposition from the Senate and the White House. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

Nov. 2 (UPI) -- The House of Representatives passed an aid bill Thursday that provides $14.3 billion to Israel to support its military operations in Gaza.

The GOP-backed bill, approved by a vote of 226-196 and primarily along party lines, would redirect funds from the IRS to cover the expenses of the aid package. It provides no funding for Ukraine's war against Russia.

Although the bill's passage was the first major victory of Republican Rep. Mike Johnson's speakership, it almost immediately attracted opposition from the Senate and the White House.

"Tonight, a bipartisan group of members votes to send immediate aid to Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East," Johnson posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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"Our supplemental package, which is fully offset, provides Israel with advanced weapons systems supports the Iron Dome missile defense system and replenishes American domestic defense stockpiles. This is necessary and critical assistance as Israel fights for its right to exist ...."

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks during his first official press conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. The House approved by a vote of 226-196 an aid package that would deliver $14.3 billion in aid to Israel. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks during his first official press conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. The House approved by a vote of 226-196 an aid package that would deliver $14.3 billion in aid to Israel. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

However, the measure has drawn sharp criticism from Democratic leaders, establishing the groundwork for a partisan confrontation as it heads on to the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that the Senate will not entertain the bill, labeling it as "inadequate" and "deeply flawed" in remarks made on X.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, speaks during a press conference after weekly caucus luncheons at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on Tuesday. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, speaks during a press conference after weekly caucus luncheons at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on Tuesday. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

He indicated that Democrats are crafting an alternative aid package that includes measures to counter the Chinese government's influence, resources for humanitarian assistance to Gaza and additional support for Ukraine -- which this House bill fails to address.

The White House has also stated that President Joe Biden would veto the bill if it were to land on his desk.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks during his first official press conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. The House approved by a vote of 226-196 an aid package that would deliver $14.3 billion in aid to Israel. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks during his first official press conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. The House approved by a vote of 226-196 an aid package that would deliver $14.3 billion in aid to Israel. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

Johnson said that an Ukraine aid package will come soon, ABC News reported, despite a rising contingent of House Republicans who oppose allocating additional funding to the war-torn nation in its ongoing resistance against invading Russia.

In the report, Johnson stated that House Republicans plan to combine it with border security measures in an effort to secure its passage.

The passage of the bill comes on the second day of the tightly controlled evacuation from the war-torn Gaza territory, where hundreds more civilians were allowed to leave.

Gaza's border authority issued a list of 600 foreign passport holders and a variety of dual-national Palestinians from 14 countries, such as Mexico, South Korea, Azerbaijan, and Italy.

On Wednesday, over 300 foreign nationals and 80 critically injured Palestinians crossed into Egypt, marking the first major departure from the Palestinian territory since the Israel-Hamas conflict began on October 7.

The State Department says it's been in contact with at least 1,000 families of Americans still trapped in the territory, where there is a shortage of food, water and medical supplies due to the Israeli military's comprehensive siege on Hamas-controlled Gaza.