Bipartisan House letter criticizes Johnson’s Israel supplemental proposal

The letter, whose signatories include a senior Republican lawmaker, opposes the new House speaker’s move to split up the Israel funding package and offset it with IRS cuts

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 25: U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) just after he was elected as the new speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol last week.

A new bipartisan House letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) implores him to reverse course on his plan to split up Israel, Ukraine and other supplemental funding requested by the administration.

The letter, obtained by Jewish Insider, is signed by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia Subcommittee, pro-Israel Democrats Reps. Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), a co-chair of the Ukraine Caucus. House Republicans are moving ahead with a bill that includes $14.3 billion in emergency Israel aid for its war against Hamas and would cut an equal amount from IRS funding.

“We beseech you not to separate aid for Israel’s fight to rescue its hostages and secure its borders from Ukraine’s fight to do the same, or from Taiwan’s efforts to deter a war. All are crucial priorities for the United States,” the letter reads. “The introduction of offsets, or the potential deferral of our commitments, threatens not only our national interest, but also our long-term fiscal health. It is far better and less costly in blood and treasure to ensure Russia, Iran, and Hamas are defeated in their current wars than it will be if they achieve strategic victories against Ukraine or Israel.”

The letter calls on Johnson to bring forward the full supplemental proposal, including funding for Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and the southern border, “so that all Members of Congress can vote their consciences on this essential legislation.”

“We are living through a precarious global period and it is critically important that, as it was in generations past, our partisan politics stop at the water’s edge,” the letter continues.

The letter seeks to draw connections between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Hamas’ attack on Israel, arguing that they “cannot be separated” as both Hamas and Russia “seek to defeat and destroy democracies on their borders, both are intended as a first step of conquest not the last, and both are supported by Iran.”

The letter notes that Iran, Hamas’ key backer, has been providing drones to Russia and that Russia hosted Hamas leaders in Moscow last week. It also highlights Iran’s backing of proxies throughout the region, as well as the threats posed by China to U.S. partners and interests in the Indo-Pacific.

“Congress has a paramount role in this fight for the ideals of national sovereignty and security. In particular, we must demonstrate to our allies and our enemies that we are not just able, we are committed to supporting Israel, Ukraine, and our friends in the Indo-Pacific as they defend themselves,” the lawmakers wrote. “Congress must do its part to make sure the citizen soldiers defending Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan have what they need to protect their democracies, and by extension, our national security.”

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