The United States House of Representatives has rejected a Republican-led bill to provide $17.6bn in assistance to Israel as a wider bipartisan bill that would also help Ukraine and ensure more money for border security.
The Tuesday vote on the Israel bill, which needed a two-thirds majority to advance, was largely along party lines.
Aid for Israel – one of the largest recipients of US foreign aid – has traditionally received strong bipartisan support. However, the bill’s opponents said it was a Republican ploy to distract from their opposition to the $118bn Senate bill combining an overhaul of US immigration policy and new funding for border security – measures Republicans had demanded – with billions of dollars in emergency aid for Ukraine, Israel and partners in the Asia Pacific.
House Democratic leaders called the Israel bill a “nakedly obvious and cynical attempt” to undermine the larger package, hammered out at the weekend after months of negotiations by a bipartisan group of senators.