Newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson fired back at Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s Friday suggestion that the standalone Israel aid package recently passed in the House was not a “serious proposal.”
On Thursday, the House passed the $14.3 billion standalone bill which reallocates funds set aside by the Biden administration to expand the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Schumer took House Republicans to task in an X post shortly after the bill’s passing.
“Let me be clear: The Senate will not take up the House GOP’s deeply flawed proposal,” Schumer wrote. “Instead, we will work on our own bipartisan emergency aid package that includes funding for aid to Israel, Ukraine, humanitarian aid including for Gaza, and competition with the Chinese Government.”
Johnson responded to Schumer’s comments during a Sunday appearance on Fox News.
“It’s really surprising to hear Sen. Schumer say that it’s not a serious proposal,” Johnson told host Shannon Bream, adding the $14.3 billion bill was “exactly what was requested.”
“What they don’t like is that in the House, we’re trying to be good stewards of taxpayer’s resources,” he continued.
Johnson touted the bill’s reallocation of IRS funds was more fiscally responsible than printing new dollars or borrowing from another country.
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“We want to pay for it,” he added. “What a concept.”
Johnson said the House, under his leadership, was trying to “change how Washington works.”
“By taking that money from this giant fund … to build up the IRS, we weighed those priorities and said, ‘You know what? It’s more important to protect Israel right now than it is to hire more IRS agents,'” Johnson said. “Apparently Senator Schumer disagrees with that, but I’ll take that debate to the American people all day long.”
Bream noted critics of the House’s standalone reallocation bill claim the legislation would increase the deficit because the IRS would not be “collecting the revenue they’re bringing in.”
The Speaker referenced a similar remark he told reporters last Thursday after the bill passed a House floor vote.
“Only in Washington can you cut funding, add a pay-for to a new spending measure, and they say it’s terrible for the deficit,” he said.
“We’re trying to take care of our priorities, and we will,” Johnson asserted, also noting concerns over Ukraine and border security would also be addressed. “We are committed to changing how Washington works.”
The Speaker also praised the “united and energized” House Republican Conference in the wake of his election in late-October.
“All of our members are working together in good faith trying to solve these very challenges we face,” he said.