House votes to advance foreign aid bills, despite GOP defections

House Approves Foreign Aid Bills over GOP Infighting

House Approves Foreign Aid Bills Over GOP Infighting

The bills will restart the flow of supplies to Ukraine’s military and provide aid to Israel,

While provisions for increased security on the southern U.S. border failed.

The House on Saturday approved a critical $95 billion foreign aid package in a broad bipartisan vote over the objections of far-right Republicans,

who will now likely move to oust their leader, Speaker Mike Johnson.

The voting reflected the broad support in the chamber for the bills, which provide military aid to Ukraine and Israel,

Among other things, but which have languished amid the objections of hard-liners within the Republican Party.

Many in the GOP, citing a need to address security at the southern border before providing foreign aid,

have used procedural votes to prevent the package from even being considered,

practically daring the House speaker to rely on Democrats to secure enough votes for passage.

And as that scenario became more realistic, Republican rebels intensified threats against their speaker,

who faces a motion to vacate that would remove him from his post.

Johnson, who earlier this year relied on Democratic votes to pass a government funding bill and avoid a shutdown,

has now seen Democrats come to his aid twice as the foreign aid package was considered.

And some Democrats have offered to help Johnson preserve his hold on the gavel if he could get

the foreign aid bills and other bipartisan legislation through the chamber.

House Approves
Johnson temporarily dodges ouster vote as House passes foreign aid

Democrats in the lower chamber on Friday lent their support to a key procedural measure to move

the bills forward by a 316-94 margin.

They were forced to step in after 55 Republicans about a quarter of the GOP conference peeled away from Johnson.

Before that, they also took the rare step of forming a coalition with Republicans to advance

The bills to the floor for a debate in a 9-3 vote in a House committee.

The package includes separate bills for aid to Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific, including Taiwan.

An additional bill with Republican-favoured national security provisions like a potential ban

on the Chinese-owned social media site TikTok

and measures to secure the southern border were added to quell GOP infighting over

The lack of provisions addressing security at the southern border.

The House voted separately for the aid bills and held an additional vote for the package with the provisions.

The Indo-Pacific aid measure passed by a vote of 385-34, with one member voting present.

House Approves critical aid along with a TikTok ban

Aid to Israel passed 366-58, with seven members not voting. All told, 37 Democrats and 21 Republicans voted against the bill.

The change among Democrats came as no surprise, as several party members came out against the bill before the vote.

Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin said he was opposed because the package would give more weapons to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

“If he’s not listening to us on matters of national security,

how can he be trusted with more offensive weapons?” Pocan asked.

He added that “enough is enough.”

Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas wrote on X (formerly Twitter)

that “all of us have seen the tragedy of Gaza.

We’ve seen how Netanyahu’s government has used US weapons to kill indiscriminately and create famine.” He added that he “will not participate in this carnage.”

Predictably, the Ukraine bill drew the least support, passing 311-112, with one member voting present and seven not voting.

The passage was accompanied by cheering’s, chants of “Ukraine” and some Democrats waving Ukrainian flags.

They were promptly reprimanded for waving flags on the House floor and shouted at by Republican Rep.

Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.

Notably, Johnson failed to garner a majority within his own party on the vote,

with 112 Republicans voting against aid to Ukraine and only 101 voting for it.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promptly thanked the lower chamber “for the decision that keeps history on the right track.”

He also extended a personal vote of thanks to Johnson.

“Democracy and freedom will always have global significance and will never fail as long as America helps to protect it.

The vital U.S. aid bill passed today by the House will keep the war from expanding, save thousands and thousands of lives,

and help both of our nations to become stronger,” he said.

Greene introduced an amendment to lower funding to the Eastern European country to zero,

saying on the House floor that the U.S. should not spend another dollar helping them.

She blasted aid to the country as a “sick business model” that distracts from domestic issues like bolstering the southern border.

Greene’s amendment failed by a vote of 351-71. A separate attempt to send the bill back to the committee was also unsuccessful.

While the aid packages required a simple majority, the GOP-backed border bill required a two-thirds vote, so it failed by a vote of 215-199.

A separate bill including several national security priorities, including the prospective ban

on TikTok as well as sanctions against Iran and Russia, passed 360-58.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said Saturday morning a tentative agreement over

the passage of the package in the Senate was reached Friday evening.

He said that if the package is passed in the House, “We expect to announce an agreement allowing

The next vote on Tuesday, early afternoon.”

Without an agreement, he said, the Senate would vote to lay down the measure “as soon as we receive it” on Saturday.

A reflection of Johnson’s repeated reliance on House Democrats is the order of the bills –

with Ukraine being voted on before Israel.

That is the order Democrats wanted, as many believed that if the order were reversed Republican members may opt not to vote

and put passage in jeopardy.

The accidental speaker became an unlikely Churchill

By passing Ukraine aid, the accidental speaker became an unlikely Churchill
By passing Ukraine aid, the accidental speaker became an unlikely Churchill

Republican Speaker Mike Johnson showed political courage that is rare in Washington

and notable legislative skill for an inexperienced leader in forcing a long-delayed $60 billion aid bill for

Ukraine through the House of Representatives on Saturday.

Johnson put his own job in extreme peril to stand up for a

democratic nation victimized by an unprovoked invasion by

Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and to bolster America’s leadership of the West.

His actions could save thousands of Ukrainian lives, even if Russia’s determination to win a bloody war in

which it is targeting civilians shows no sign of fading.

Johnson’s support for the bill followed a period of self-examination

and a political evolution that is also unusual in the hyperpolarized Capitol.

One of his senior colleagues in the House said the “transformation” involved prayer by

the devout Louisiana hard-line conservative, who expressed a wish to be on the right side of history.

Johnson’s piloting of the bill through the House, after months of bitter infighting that split the GOP,

saw him side with the diminished internationalist Ronald Reagan wing of his party while turning his back on

the “America First” faction where he previously made his political home.

Johnson argued that without the United States continuing its arms and ammunition lifeline to Ukraine,

Russia could score a victory that would prompt it to March deeper into Europe, drawing the US into another world war.

He said a failure to act would bolster the emerging de facto axis of totalitarianism between Russia, Iran and China.

Two other bills that Johnson shepherded through the House in a rare

Saturday session will also send new aid to Israel and Taiwan,

reinforcing other vital US national security goals in two other world hot spots.

Johnson’s decisions also preserved and prolonged the central planks of

President Joe Biden’s foreign policy less than seven months before he seeks re-election.

Classified briefings by US covert agencies appear to have played a major role in his shift in thinking another factor likely to anger

“Make America Great Again” Republicans who view the intelligence community as a “deep state” that targets ex-President Donald Trump.



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