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Tags: mike johnson | house | speaker | israel | aid | irs | funding

Speaker Johnson to Newsmax: Standalone Israel Aid Bill Right Move

By    |   Monday, 13 November 2023 07:25 PM EST

Democrats, including President Joe Biden, have come out strongly against the House's standalone funding plan for Israel, which diverts $14.5 billion intended for the IRS to aid the Jewish state following Hamas' terrorist attack on Oct. 7.

Even though Biden and his party prefer all-encompassing bills that includes funding for Ukraine and for the U.S. southern border, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., told Newsmax on Monday the standalone bill was the right route to go.

"I'm an optimist," Johnson told "The Record With Greta Van Susteren." "We'll keep working. I really do believe we'll be able to build consensus around these ideas. Everybody on both sides believes the Israel funding is a critical problem. I believe that we have to do these things simultaneously and fiscal responsibility is one of our core principles. It's more than just a core principle. It's an absolute necessity right now.

"We have a $33.6 trillion debt. Two weeks ago, the Treasury Department and the Biden administration announced that we'll have to borrow $1.5 trillion over the next two quarters to keep our government in operation. And just a few days ago, Moody's downgraded our credit rating. We're now in the negative category."

Johnson said the No. 1 threat to the United States' national security is the national debt. He said helping Israel is a "critical priority" as well as the other priorities facing the U.S., "but we have to do it in a manner that does not bankrupt our own country."

"It makes no sense to borrow from some other country for us to send it elsewhere," Johnson said.

He said he believes most Americans would agree that providing aid to Israel by cutting IRS funding is more practical than borrowing the money.

"If you did a public opinion poll on that, you'd find a large majority of the American people would agree with that premise," Johnson said. "We had about $67 billion sitting in this fund to bulk up the IRS. If you weigh that with the desperate and immediate need of Israel to defend themselves, our great ally there, the only democracy in the Middle East, it's a tinder box.

"In terms of those two priorities, I think the American people understand Israel is more important in this moment. We can get back to the IRS. And we only took $14 .5 billion out of the $67 billion fund to do that. If some Democrats in the Senate or elsewhere want to argue that hiring more IRS agents right now is more important than assisting Israel, we'll have that debate."

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Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

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Democrats, including President Joe Biden, have come out strongly against the House's standalone funding plan for Israel, which diverts $14.5 billion intended for the IRS to aid the Jewish state following Hamas' terrorist attack on Oct. 7.
mike johnson, house, speaker, israel, aid, irs, funding, hamas, terrorist attack, joe biden
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2023-25-13
Monday, 13 November 2023 07:25 PM
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