ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 140

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US House rejects Republican-led effort to pass standalone Israel aid bill

US House Speaker Mike Johnson arrives to a House Republican caucus meeting at the US Capitol on February 6, 2024 in Washington. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images/AFP)
US House Speaker Mike Johnson arrives to a House Republican caucus meeting at the US Capitol on February 6, 2024 in Washington. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images/AFP)

WASHINGTON — The US House of Representatives rejects a Republican-led bill that would provide $17.6 billion to Israel, as Democrats say they want a vote instead on a broader measure that would also provide assistance to Ukraine, international humanitarian funding and new money for border security.

The vote is 250 to 180, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed for passage.

Opponents called the Israel legislation a political ploy by Republicans to distract from their opposition to a $118 billion Senate bill combining an overhaul of US immigration policy and new funding for border security with billions of dollars in emergency aid for Ukraine, Israel and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson had said the Senate bill was “dead on arrival” in the chamber even before it was introduced. And Senate Republican leaders said on Tuesday they did not think the measure would receive enough votes to pass.

The Israel-only bill’s supporters insisted it was not a purely political stunt, saying it was important to move quickly to support Israel as it responds to the October 7 attack by Hamas terrorists.

The vote was another blow to Johnson, coming right after the House voted against the impeaching Democratic President Joe Biden’s top border official.

The House in a 214-216 vote blocked a committee’s impeachment charges against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Four Republicans bucked their leadership, joining Democrats in opposing the charges against the Cabinet member.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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