As the war against Hamas in the Middle East rages on, the U.S. Congress has yet to pass funding measures to help Israel. Representative Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) believes the fault lies at the feet of Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA).
Additionally, the Florida congressman thinks that the new Speaker’s position could be in trouble.
During an appearance on MSNBC, Rep. Moskowitz said Speaker Johnson is setting “a terrible precedent.”
By conditioning aid, nobody in Congress is hurting Israel more than Speaker Johnson. If he doesn’t get it together and figure out a way to support our ally, I suspect he won’t be Speaker much longer. pic.twitter.com/u2uGoN0uGn
— Congressman Jared Moskowitz (@RepMoskowitz) November 14, 2023
“On the issue of Israel, let me be clear: nobody in Congress right now is hurting the State of Israel more than Speaker Johnson,” said Rep. Moskowitz. “By politicizing that aid bill, by putting cuts in there, by conditioning aid, something we have never done before, something that’s going to set a terrible precedent when we need disaster supplementals in the future.
He continued, “By doing that, you played politics rather than having 400 people on the House steps, bringing Democrats and Republicans together supporting our number one ally in their greatest time of need, he decided to divide us, and Israel doesn’t have that aid now, they don’t have new Iron Dome projectiles that they need because of Speaker Johnson. That bill, if it was clean, would have passed the Senate and the President would’ve signed it."
Finally, Moskowitz mentioned that Johnson’s inability to provide a bill that both parties could compromise on could lead to the newly promoted Speaker’s demise.
“We need humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people, right? Speaker Johnson has prevented that from happening also. So, to be clear if Speaker Johnson doesn’t figure out how to get Israel aid, I don’t suspect he’ll be Speaker much longer,” concluded Moskowitz.
Florida Democrats were split after the House of Representatives did in fact pass a funding package for Israel earlier this month. Most lawmakers on the left side of the aisle like Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL) want to combine funding for Israel, Ukraine, and allies in the Indo-Pacific into one bill.
However, the small minority of Democrats who sided with Republicans such as Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Moskowitz believe that Israel needs to be prioritized.
As one of 12 Democrats to vote with Republicans on this legislation, Rep. Wasserman Schultz stated that she had a lot of problems with this bill and that she “worked to rid this bill of the poison it contained,” but as a Jew, she needed to vote for the legislation.
“The safety and security of Israel is paramount, especially in her time of crisis. I was appalled at the gross politicization of this critical funding and an unprecedented conditioning of emergency aid to Israel by Speaker Johnson. All week, I worked to rid this bill of the poison it contained, including offering an amendment that would have ensured a clean bill, but they were rejected by Republicans,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz.
She even stated that she encouraged her colleagues to vote against the bill because it did not include the proposal provided by President Joe Biden (D) that includes support for Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific. However, the vote for Wasserman Schultz was “personal.”
“For me, as a Jew, as a Zionist and as the representative of a large Jewish community, I personally needed to cast my vote to stand by Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people, in this moment of crisis,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz.
Regardless of whether the House and the Senate find a compromise on funding for Israel, a government shutdown is set to take place on Nov. 17.