Senate blocks House bill to help Israel, cut IRS
The Senate voted Tuesday along party lines to table a resolution to proceed with the House-passed Bill that would provide $14,3 billion in emergency assistance to Israel. It would pay for this by cutting the Internal Revenue Service budget.
The vote was held after a group conservatives in the Senate ambushed Democrats with a surprise motion for the House bill to be considered, which Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer (D – N.Y.) previously described as “a non-starter.”
Biden has also threatened to veto a bill introduced in the House.
The vote on Tuesday afternoon ended a standoff between Democrats and Republicans on the Senate floor. During this time, Democrats had suspended their business in order to prevent Republicans from advancing the measure at the same time that tens-of-thousands of people rallied for Israel on Washington’s National Mall.
Senate conservatives, including Sens. Roger Marshall (R. Kan.), Mike Lee, (R. Utah), Ted Cruz, (R. Texas), Ron Johnson, (R. Wisconsin), and Marsha Blackburn asked for consent repeatedly to end the quorum to move on to the bill.
Patty Murray, the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee (D-Washington), objected to each one.
The quorum call has frozen the Senate floor. I assume that Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leadership and other members of the Senate are in their offices panicking and trying figure out what they should do next. Cruz stated that the goal of their standoff was to prevent a voting.
Murray put an end to this by calling for the vote to move forward with the Israel bill that was passed in the House.
The Senate then voted to table the bill 51 to 48.
The Senate conservatives collected 16 signatures to end the debate on a petition for cloture, so sooner or later, Democrats would have been forced to vote on this bill.
A Democratic aide claimed that the GOP senators tried to “usurp the prerogative of the majority leader” in controlling the floor schedule, but pointed out that the tactic had been used previously.
Schumer, a staunch ally to Israel, dismissed earlier this month the House bill as “unserious” and “woefully inadequate,” pointing that the Congressional Budget Office estimates it would add an additional $12 billion to the deficit.
Twelve Democrats voted in favor of the House GOP’s proposal to provide Israel with aid in the lower chamber.