The Fight For Emergency Funding for Israel in Congress Intensifies
Following Hamas’s attack on October 7, President Biden requested that Congress provide $14.3 billion in emergency supplemental funding to assist Israel in reestablishing its territorial security as part of a broader $106 billion package that also included assistance for Ukraine and Taiwan. Democrats and Republicans have been sharply divided over whether this aid should be packaged together or whether measures to address U.S. border security should also be included.
This week, the Senate unveiled an updated $118.28 billion national security supplemental bill, which notably included:
• $60.1 billion for Ukraine in its fight against Russia;
• $14.1 billion in security assistance for Israel;
• $2.4 billion to support American military operations in the Middle East;
• $4.8 billion to support regional partners in the Indo-Pacific to deter Chinese aggression; and
• A bipartisan deal negotiated by Sens. James Lankford (R-OK), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) to address the crisis on the U.S. southern border.
Meanwhile in the House, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) announced the broader Senate bill would be “DEAD on arrival” due to the inclusion of the border security deal. Instead, the House introduced a narrower $17.6 billion bill which only included aid for Israel and support for U.S. military forces in the Middle East.
By the middle of the week, prospects for success for either approach were in serious jeopardy. On Tuesday, the House attempt to pass their Israel-only supplemental, which failed. On Wednesday, the Senate attempt to begin debate on their broader security bill likewise failed. On Thursday, the Senate adjusted course, dropped the border security deal, and voted 67-32 to begin debate on a narrower bill with expectation that senators will have an opportunity to propose amendments to address the border situation.
While the path forward remains unclear, examining the similarities and differences between bill provisions supporting Israel – many of which closely track JINSA’s previous recommendations – help clarifies the current state of congressional thinking and the likely contours what’s likely to be eventually signed into law.