February 21, 2024

It’s been a busy week for the House of Representatives, and it’s only Tuesday. Sunday night, a border security bill was unveiled by Senators who had been negotiating behind closed doors for months, but House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) quickly labeled the disastrous proposal DOA.

On Tuesday, the House unbelievably failed to impeach Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas by a vote of 214-216, despite his incredible record of failure at the border. 

But Tuesday wasn’t over for lawmakers—and in the evening, they voted down a $17.6 billion standalone Israel aid package—”standalone” meaning that it was not tied to Ukraine aid or anything else—as several Freedom Caucus Republicans joined Democrats to torpedo the measure.

Although the majority—240-180—voted for the package, a two-thirds “aye” vote was required due to procedural rules. Forty-six Democrats voted yes, but 166 gave it the thumbs down. Two hundred and four Republicans voted in favor, but 14 said “nay.”

The Republicans who did not support the package wanted offsetting budget cuts to be included.

President Biden and many Democrat lawmakers have demanded that the proposed Israel aid be tied to a broader $118 billion supplemental security package, which would include billions for Ukraine.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) was angered by the vote:

Johnson was highly critical of those who refused to vote for the aid, noting that they had no real policy objection and were just using Israel’s plight as it battles Hamas as “leverage”:

Democrats have been unable to present any substantive policy objection in the current legislation. It is clear they are now committing to using Israel’s aid as leverage to force through other priorities that do not join nearly the same degree of consensus. [Bolding mine.]

He went on even further, saying that Biden and the Dems should be “ashamed” that they are failing to help one of our closest allies in their time of need:

Leveraging Israel aid as it fights for survival is wrong. The White House and congressional Democrats should be ashamed. 

The vote exposes the Swamp that is D.C. and Congress. Given a chance to help Israel as it faces an existential crisis, they punted because they didn’t get everything they wanted. 

The fact is, many of these bills should be “standalone,” as wrapping all sorts of things together is a slippery tactic that enables lawmakers to shove through their pet projects and enact things that aren’t as popular as other elements of the package. 

The House left Israel on its own Tuesday night.