Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie, a Republican, responded to criticism from a pro-Israel group after he announced he would vote against a $14.3 billion aid package for Israel.
The aid package for Israel, which is backed by most House Republicans, includes allocating $1.2 billion for the development of the Iron Beam defense system and $4 billion for the country’s Iron Dome and David’s Sling defense systems.
‘If Congress sends $14.5 billion to Israel, on average we’ll be taking about $100 from every working person in the United States,’ Massie wrote Monday on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. ‘This will be extracted through inflation and taxes. I’m against it.’
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee pointed out that the congressman voted last week with nine progressive Democrats, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, against a resolution defending Israel’s right to defend itself and condemning Hamas.
Massie responded to the post on Tuesday by saying the AIPAC was ‘intentionally misrepresenting’ his intent in voting against the resolution. The congressman has condemned Hamas’ terror attack against Israel, but said last week he opposed the resolution because it calls for sanctions and ‘asserts the necessity of foreign aid commitments which I have voted against.’
‘AIPAC always gets mad when I put America first. I won’t be voting for their $14+ billion shakedown of American taxpayers either,’ he wrote on Tuesday. ‘Let them know what you think by replying to their post. They are intentionally misrepresenting my intent and the resolution I voted against.’
The group replied, ‘The U.S. is stronger when Israel is secure. No misrepresentation, your vote says it all: NO to standing with Israel, NO to condemning Hamas, NO to helping Israel win this war.’
Ocasio-Cortez also chimed in after the AIPAC’s post about 10 House members voting against last week’s resolution.
‘AIPAC endorsed scores of Jan 6th insurrectionists,’ she wrote. ‘They are no friend to American democracy. They are one of the more racist and bigoted PACs in Congress as well, who disproportionately target members of color. They are an extremist organization that destabilizes US democracy.’
The Israel aid bill would be paid for by cuts to Internal Revenue Service funding that was allocated through the Inflation Reduction Act passed by Democrats last year. The House Rules Committee will take up the aid bill on Wednesday.
More than 9,700 people have been killed and thousands more wounded in Gaza and Israel since Hamas launched its largest attack against Israel in decades on Oct. 7, leading Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare war on the terrorist group.