House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., on Sunday defended IRS funding cuts in a bill passed by the Republican-led House that would give Israel about $14 billion his war with Hamas would provide aid funds.
The House voted 226-196 last week, largely along party lines, to pass the Johnson-backed Israel aid bill, with a dozen Democrats joining Republicans in voting for the measure and two Republicans opposing it. But Democrats have made clear that the bill — which would cut IRS funding passed in President Joe Biden’s sweeping 2022 health care, climate and tax law — has no chance of surviving in the Senate, and Biden has vowed to veto it.
In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Johnson was asked to comment on the backlash from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats in Congress who pointed to a recent Congressional Budget Office report that estimated that The legislation would add nearly $27 billion to the budget deficit.
Republicans are “trying to be good stewards of taxpayer resources” and want to offset spending rather than printing more or borrowing money to support our international allies, Johnson said. “We want to pay for it, what a concept. We’re trying to change the way Washington works.”
Fox News’ Shannon Bream noted that Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., had argued that Johnson was prioritizing “deficit-busting tax giveaways for the rich over supporting Israel.”
In response, Johnson said, “Look, we’re trying to look at our priorities, and that’s what we’re going to do.” We know those other important actions are right on the table, and we’re working hour by hour, day by day and will comply with these obligations. But we have to do these things in the right order.”
Scalise also defended the plan to cut IRS funding in the Republican-led Israel aid bill in an interview on ABC News’ “This Week.”
“We passed a bill that addresses two issues that our Department of Defense is talking about,” he said. “First, we must provide aid to Israel, and that is what we are doing. But when our generals testify before bodies like the armed forces, they say our debt is our greatest national threat – not other countries like China and Russia. They say it’s our fault.”
“We have addressed both in this bill,” he added.
Among Democrats who voted against the bill, some said that although they support aid to Israel, they could not vote for the bill because of the IRS cuts. Funding the IRS should be used to increase tax fraud enforcement to raise more revenue.
Biden and Senate Democrats have said they support a broader package that includes $106 billion in aid to Israel and Ukraine, humanitarian aid to Gaza and funding for U.S. border operations.
Schumer promised last week that the GOP’s Israel aid bill would be dead upon arrival in the Senate. “I’m glad the president threatened to veto this astonishingly frivolous proposal,” Schumer said in a speech last week. “The Senate will not consider this deeply flawed proposal from House Republicans.”
Source : www.nbcnews.com