Foreign aid bill resurfaces House Democrats’ Israel tensions

Some progressive legislators are pushing back on Israel aid as House Democrats press for a vote to be held on the Senate’s national security package.

Why it matters: Israel’s consistent and sometimes highly charged wedge has been a constant and high-voltage wedge in the otherwise united front of Democrats this Congress session.

What they say: Axios reported that several members of the “Squad”, a group of progressives, are strongly opposed to the bill.

Rep. Cori bush (D-Mo) said, “I will not vote to send any more money to war.” ).


Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said that she would vote “no” on the bill.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said that “a lot of members find this rather offensive and shocking.”

Zoom out: The Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal said to Axios that she “can’t vote” for aid to Israel.

Jayapal also said that the conditions of aid to Gaza and restrictions on UNRWA funds are “troubling”. “It would be a problem” for her.

Rep. Greg Casar, D-Texas, said that he supports Israel’s defensive capabilities but that “offensive actions like what is happening in Rafah are very difficult for me.”

Delia Ramirez, a Democrat from Illinois, said: “When you see what is happening in Rafah it’s impossible to me to be able fund something like this.”

Status of the play: House Republicans refuse to vote on the $95 Billion package because it lacks border security provisions.

The bill also includes $5 billion for the Indo-Pacific and $9 billion as humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.

Zoom out: Although progressive votes are unlikely to be required to pass the legislation, their opposition to it could undermine a possible Democratic attempt to force a voting on it.

The Democrats are far from the 218 signatures required for a discharge petition.

Hakeem Jeffries, House Minority Leader (D-N.Y.), dismissed on Tuesday questions about the lack progressive support by saying that the “overwhelming” majority of Democrats supported the bill.

He added, “We’re not the problem.”

What they are saying: Ocasio Cortez expressed her frustration over the Foreign Aid Bill, and an earlier version which included strict border security policies, being negotiated by the Senate without the buy-in of the left.

She asked, “For what are we giving up all this?” “Without the vote you are losing a lot of votes from the progressive side… and you won’t win any votes from the conservative side.”

She added, “You need to do the math for both chambers when you are negotiating this package. There were just not the right people present who understood what was really passable.”

Jamie Raskin, progressive Rep. (D-Md.). Axios reported that Raskin is “very positive” about the bill and noted that it provides humanitarian aid to Palestinians living in Gaza.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., said that she was undecided. She told Axios she is worried about the lack UNRWA funding. However she believes that the inclusion Palestinian aid would be “huge.”