The House of Representatives' stand-alone Israel funding bill demonstrated that not all Republicans are standing firmly united with the U.S. ally. House Republicans have historically voted in unison on behalf of the Jewish state, but a group of 14 Republicans broke off from the party.
The rationale for voting against the bill is that it added to the nation's growing debt. Representative Chip Roy (R-TX) told Fox News that he couldn't vote for the measure giving billions to a foreign country without securing the border first.
"Well, it's unpaid for and our borders are wide open. I'm not gonna, can't go to my constituents say here's $17 billion, even for someone who I love like Israel, and a good friend, somebody I fully support, I can't do that," said Rep. Roy.
The bill – known as the Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024 failed by a vote of 250-180 (it needed two-thirds approval to pass).
Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), a co-sponsor of the bill, spoke on why he supported the legislation before the bill’s failure.
“It’s pretty clear that we need to do a little bit more than the traditional money that we’ve allocated for Israel for obvious reasons. Israel is at war, they are facing an existential threat,” said Rep. Diaz-Balart.
He would praise the bill’s original sponsor – Representative Ken Calvert (R-CA) – for orchestrating a “clean” stand-alone funding bill for Israel and called out those who voted against the measure.
“It is a clean bill, there is absolutely no reason on earth why anybody should be voting against a clean bill to Israel, to defend itself against terrorism and to help ourselves defend our troops from terrorist attacks, and we’ve seen the last terrorist attack that killed three brave American GIs,” said Rep. Diaz-Balart.
Florida Representatives Aaron Bean (R), Cory Mills (R), Matt Gaetz (R), and Maxwell Frost (D) voted against the measure.
Both Reps Mills and Bean told The Floridian that they voted against the bill because it was "not paid for."
Of the 46 Democrats that voted for the measure, seven of the yeas came from Florida. This included Representatives Jared Moskowitz, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Lois Frankel, Darren Soto, Kathy Castor, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, and Frederica Wilson.
The White House announced that President Joe Biden (D) would veto the bill if it reached his desk, calling it “another cynical political maneuver.”
“The Administration spent months working with a bipartisan group of Senators to reach a national security agreement that secures the border and provides support for the people of Ukraine and Israel, while also providing much-needed humanitarian assistance to civilians affected by conflicts around the world,” the Biden White House said. “Instead of working in good faith to address the most pressing national security challenges, this bill is another cynical political maneuver. The security of Israel should be sacred, not a political game.”
With the Senate border deal seemingly dead on arrival in the House, Republicans in Congress will have to figure out how they want to address foreign aid moving forward.