EXCLUSIVE: The White House is blasting House Republicans for setting an “unprecedented bar” in their new bill that gives $14.3 billion in aid to Israel.
House Republicans rolled out the 13-page bill Monday, which would completely offset the foreign aid by rescinding the $14.3 billion in funds from the Inflation Reduction Act passed last year. Specifically, the bill targets some of the $80 billion the package allocated toward the Internal Revenue Service for audits on wealthy individuals.
Fox News Digital exclusively obtained a White House memo penned by Deputy Press Secretary and Senior Communications Adviser Andrew Bates titled: “House Republicans set an unprecedented bar for helping Israel defend itself – and other critical national security needs.”
“Despite strong bipartisan agreement that the United States must support Israel as it defends itself after the worst terrorist attack in its history, House Republicans are engaging in a dangerous political stunt that for the first time in American history demands emergency national security funding be fully offset,” Bates wrote in the memo. “Though the United States has delivered urgent defense funding to a wide range of allies over many years, this has never been a requirement.”
He adds: “Why should Israel be singled out in this way? Why should it be treated differently, especially when they were just subjected to the worst massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust?”
Bates goes on to write that Republicans are “politicizing our national security interests” in such a way that would “set an unacceptable precedent that jeopardizes the United States’ ability to reliably support Israel’s self-defense into the future.”
The White House memo also says the bill “endangers other critical, bipartisan national security priorities, like humanitarian aid for innocent civilians in Gaza who are also the victims of Hamas terrorists. And helping Ukraine stop Putin from butchering their citizens with Iranian weapons.”
“This is a time for all of us to come together – as the American people have – and not undermine our national security with political stunts that prioritize internal points-scoring over our safety in the world,” Bates wrote. “The American people have had enough of the House Republican Conference insisting on being a chaotic outlier.”
Newly minted House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., is expected to hold a vote on the Israel aid bill on Thursday. The bill is expected to put Democrats in a delicate position, as they also are pushing for Israel aid but will likely reject the bill’s removal of funds from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.
However, the cuts to IRS funding is likely to please conservatives – Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, told Hill Country Patriot Radio on Monday that he would support Israel aid if it was offset with budget cuts.
“The American people must see that it’s going to cost something if we’re going to give another $14 billion to Israel. So I’m for it. But it should be paid for…with real money, not budgetary gimmicks,” Roy said.
The Inflation Reduction Act granted an $80 billion boost to the IRS over a 10-year period, with more than half of those funds approved with the intention of helping the agency to crack down on tax evasion. The funding would have gone toward filling 87,000 IRS positions.
Just two Republican lawmakers have come out against the Israel funding so far, GOP hardliner Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Thomas Massie, R-Ky.
Earlier this month, Biden asked Congress to approve a $106 billion supplemental funding request with $14.3 billion for Israel, more than $60 billion for Ukraine, just over $13 billion for U.S. border security and an additional $10 billion in humanitarian assistance.
Johnson made clear over the weekend that he would not put the entire package together on the House floor, something a significant number of conservatives also opposed.
“We are going to move a standalone Israel funding bill this week in the House. I know our colleagues, our Republican colleagues in the Senate, have a similar measure,” Johnson told “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“There are lots of things going on around the world that we have to address, and we will. But right now, what’s happening in Israel takes the immediate attention. And I think we’ve got to separate that and get it through. I believe there will be bipartisan support for that, and I’m going to push very hard for it,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s first act on the House floor as speaker was to pass a bipartisan resolution condemning Hamas.
Fox News’ Liz Elkind contributed to this report.
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