Tuesday, May 21

GOP senators plan to force votes on stand-alone Israel aid in wake of Iran attack

FIRST ON FOX: Republican Sens. Roger Marshall of Kansas and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee will look to force votes on two different versions of a stand-alone Israel aid measure in the Senate on Monday night. 

Following Iran’s drone attack on Israel over the weekend, the two Republicans are planning to ask for unanimous consent to force votes on both Israel aid bills – one that is for $14.3 billion and includes cuts to Biden’s $80 billion expansion of the Internal Revenue Service under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) – and another for $17.6 billion that does not include a mechanism to pay for it. The former will be led by Marshall while Blackburn tries to force a vote on the latter.

In prepared remarks, Marshall is expected to tell his fellow senators: “Time and time again, I see members, even the Democrat Majority Leader this weekend, say he stands with Israel.”

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With his unanimous consent to vote on the stand-alone Israel bill, Marshall said in a prepared statement, “My message today to my colleagues is that actions speak louder than words. We are tired of hearing the pro-Israel lip service while you simultaneously block every effort to help Israel in its time of need. History will not forget this; let’s do the right thing.”

“Democrats say they support Israel, but their actions since October 7 to repeatedly block urgent stand-alone aid have told a different story,” Blackburn told Fox News Digital in a statement. 

“Senator Marshall and I will once again request the Senate swiftly and unanimously give Israel the resources they need to continue their fight against terrorism. In light of Iran’s historic attack this weekend, I hope our Democratic colleagues will put politics aside and join us in support of our Jewish friends.”

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A Democrat senator is likely to object to the request, as the caucus has maintained its desire to tie Israel aid to Ukraine aid.

Marshall previously tried to force a vote on the same measure late last year, but his request for unanimous consent was objected to by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who argued on the chamber floor, “Ukraine can no more afford a delay than our allies in Israel.”

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The bill for aid to Israel only, and not Ukraine or Taiwan, passed the House last year by a largely party-line vote of 226 to 196. Two Republicans defected from their conference, while 12 Democrats voted with Republicans. The measure’s IRS funding cut was a particularly controversial point of the bill, as it took funds allocated within Biden’s much-touted IRA law. While Republicans said the additional money for the IRS would mean auditing more Americans, Democrats said it would instead prevent wealthy individuals from getting away with not paying taxes.

The White House renewed its threat on Monday to veto aid to Israel that was not tied to other foreign aid. At a White House press briefing, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “We will not accept a stand-alone.”

“Stand-alone would actually not help Israel and Ukraine,” she said.

National security communications spokesperson John Kirby reiterated the White House’s opposition at the same briefing, telling reporters, “We are opposed to a stand-alone bill that would just work on Israel.”

Marshall and Blackburn each voted against the $95.3 billion supplemental foreign aid package that included Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan in February. Arguing against the aid, Marshall told his colleagues that voting against the measure was putting U.S. “national security first by securing the border first.”

“Up here in D.C., my friends across the aisle, the White House, they continue to put Ukraine funding as their priority,” he said. 

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