House Republicans upset Capitol security bill doesn't have funding for Israeli military

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Republicans have been railing for months against Democratic spending proposals in 'totally unrelated' bills.

House Republicans are furious that they were unable to add $500 million in funding for Israel's defense to an unrelated bill on Capitol security and are accusing the Democratic majority of abandoning an ally.

On Thursday, the House passed a $1.9 billion proposal to protect the U.S. Capitol against future attacks like the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection carried out by supporters of Donald Trump over the opposition of every Republican in the chamber.

But shortly before the vote, Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) tried to send the bill back to committee to add $500 million for Israel's defense. His motion to recommit failed, but 209 of the 210 Republicans present voted for it; Thomas Massie of Kentucky voted against it. Israel's military and the Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas have been engaged in deadly clashes since May 10.

Though the amendment was unrelated to the legislation, Gonzales and other Republicans slammed Democrats for opposing it, suggesting that their no votes amounted to a betrayal of an American ally.

"Ridiculous but not surprising that Democrats blocked my attempt to provide Israel with emergency funding. Dems continue to turn a blind eye to the terror caused by Hamas," wrote Gonzales before the vote was even closed. "It's almost as if the Democrats want to see Israel burn."

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted, "Will Democrats stand with our ally, Israel? Or will they continue to stand aside?"

"House Democrats are literally voting against protecting our ally, Israel," tweeted Colorado Rep. Ken Buck.

"Today I voted to provide emergency support to Israel in its fight to defend its homeland and protect its people from daily terror attacks backed by Iran," said California Rep. Darrell Issa. "Democrats didn't agree – and refused to support our friend and ally in its time of need."

The proposal would have given Israel's military funds, through the U.S. Defense Department, for missile defense and other security systems. None of the funds would have provided any protection for the U.S. Capitol building, which is located more than 5,000 miles away from Israel.

But many of the Republicans who pushed for the unrelated spending in a bill they opposed anyway have been railing for months against other spending they don't deem closely related to the purpose of the given bill in which it's included.

Every Republican in the House and Senate opposed President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. One of their most frequent arguments against it was a false claim that less than 9% of the funds were related to curbing the coronavirus pandemic.

"I couldn't support the legislation which created this fund, because of all the spending unrelated to COVID," explained Rep. Gus Bilirakis of Florida. 

More recently, they have made a similar false claim that only 5% of the funds in Biden's American Jobs Plan goes to what they consider real "infrastructure," claiming that the climate and human infrastructure provisions of the legislation do not count.

"There's so much unrelated pork even Washington reporters are hesitant to call it an infrastructure plan," complained Rep. Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania. 

After Thursday's vote, McCarthy (R-CA) tweeted: "SPOILER ALERT: Democrats blocked aid for Israel—our strongest ally in the Middle East. This is aid that could help de-escalate the attacks and save thousands of Israeli and Palestinian lives. And they blocked it."

But last March, he scolded Democrats for trying to restrict Donald Trump's powers to limit travel, claiming that "the worst part is they're trying to sneak it into a totally unrelated bill, just to restrict debate."

And last January, he attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for "sneaking national security legislation into an unrelated bill about a ceremonial coin."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.