Political observers in Alabama to watch tomorrow’s key funding vote for Israel
Political observers in Alabama will be watching to see if the newly installed Speaker of the U.S. House follows through on threats regarding a bill supporting Israel. Mike Johnson is scheduled to lead the chamber on a funding measure to help Israel in its war against Hamas, which may also cut dollars to the Internal Revenue Service and exclude money for Ukraine. Doctor Allen Linken teaches Political Science at the University of Alabama. He says handling the Israeli funding bill will be easy compared the next fight over the debt ceiling…
"What I think will be consequential is the next bill, so not $100 million, or $100 billion, one, but the one that's going to come up in April or June or whatever will come up, because that's functionally going to be the first test of where the new Speaker of the House sits relative to the President.”
Linken thinks, despite Democratic opposition to the proposals over Ukraine and the IRS, Speaker Johnson and President Joe Biden will be in what he calls a temporary “honeymoon” period. He thinks the next bill over the debt ceiling, where differences on spending money abroad could prompt debate from lawmakers, could be thornier compared to the Israeli support bill.
“I'd imagine they're gonna focus on what unites them more than what divides them. As it gets closer to the further away from the shadow of the former speaker. I imagine that partisan differences and ideological differences are gonna become more prominent.”
Linken also thinks the new House will repeal a rule that allows one member to ask for a vote to remove the Speaker. That may make Johnson’s time with the gavel a bit more secure. By contrast, a proposal led by one critic of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy was enough to oust him from his leadership post. Previously, it took five House members to bring a motion to vacate, or remove the Speaker, to the floor.