House Advances International Aid Bills, Setting Up Final Vote on Saturday

April 19, 2024 by Dan McCue
House Advances International Aid Bills, Setting Up Final Vote on Saturday
House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., with Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., during a recent press conference on Capitol Hill. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON — The House handily advanced legislation on Friday that would send military and other aid to Ukraine, Israel, Gaza and the Indo-Pacific, despite rumblings among some Republicans that such a move would spell curtains for Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La.

The 316-94 vote on the foreign aid rule clears the way for a debate on the four separate bills proposed by Johnson, and a vote on each of them Saturday afternoon.

Tensions, however, remain high among Republicans to the right of the conservative speaker, who oppose providing additional military aid to Ukraine and who have denounced the fact border security measures have not been included in the bill.

On Thursday night, the House Freedom Caucus released a statement in which it said its members would vote no on the rule for what it called an “America Last” foreign war supplemental package that contained “zero” dollars for border security.

“[We] urge all House Republicans to do the same,” the group said in a social media post. “To secure the border, we must kill the rule.”

They also continue to stew over the fact that when push has come to shove on many issues, Johnson has shown a willingness to work with Democrats as a means of getting crucial work done.

Among the most vociferous members of the GOP in regard to the latter was Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who has filed a resolution to oust Johnson, but has yet to push for a vote.

“The question everyone should be asking is what deal did Speaker Johnson make with [House Democratic Leader] Hakeem Jeffries to get the Democrats on the Rules Committee to vote for a Republican rule on the foreign war package which includes $60+ BILLION more to Ukraine?” Greene wrote in one lengthy social media post. 

“This never happens. Democrats don’t vote for Republican rules and vice versa, it’s unprecedented. This vote happened around midnight too when no one was paying attention,” she continued.

“Part of making this happen is that Johnson used [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer’s bill so they had no reason to be against it. Also unprecedented, Republican speakers don’t use Democrat’s rules and bills. What else did Johnson give away while he’s begging Democrats for votes and protection?” Greene asked.

“We do not have a Republican majority anymore, our Republican speaker is literally controlled by the Democrats and giving them everything they want,” she concluded.

In the Rules Committee session that Greene referred to, four Democrats and five Republicans voted for the rule to advance the foreign aid bills, while three Republicans voted no. The three were Reps. Chip Roy, of Texas, Ralph Norman, of South Carolina, and Thomas Massie, of Kentucky.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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