House approves aid bills for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

Washington – House Speaker Mike Johnson approved a $95 billion foreign aid package Saturday in a key moment as he tries to fend off a right-wing insurgency.

The package consists of four bills that will be voted on separately and joined together before being sent to the Senate. The first three bills include $60.8 billion to help Ukraine in its war with Russia; $26.4 billion to support Israel's war against Hamas and Iran; and $8.1 billion to counter China in the Indo-Pacific. Humanitarian aid to Gaza, which Democrats have said is essential to their support, is included.

A fourth bill would help finance future aid to Ukraine by selling frozen assets of Russian oligarchs. TikTok sales and approve tougher sanctions on Russia, China and Iran. The House approved the fourth bill on Saturday by a vote of 360 to 58.

The House voted overwhelmingly to approve the aid to allies in the Indo-Pacific bill by a vote of 385 to 34, with one member voting 366 to 58 against aid to Israel. The vote on Ukraine aid was highly contentious, coming after months of infighting among House Republicans. But lawmakers voted 311 to 112, with one member voting to approve the aid, despite steep pressure from some House conservatives.

The speaker said splitting the bills would allow each member to vote their “conscience”.

In a statement Saturday afternoon following the House passage, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, indicated the Senate would take up a vote on the package on Tuesday.

Schumer said Senate Republicans and Democrats “moments ago‚Ķlocked on an agreement to finish the supplemental work with the first vote on the Senate Tuesday afternoon.”

Schumer thanked Johnson and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries. “For working together to do what's right for our country. I know it's a tough road, but the House is on the right side of history for passing this bill.”

Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, Published the collection earlier this week amid mounting pressure from other congressional leaders and the White House to hold a vote on a similar $95 billion package that passed the Senate in February. The Senate has been sitting idle for months as the speaker debates a path forward and faces threats from a small number of Republicans who oppose sending more aid to Ukraine and want border measures to hold a vote on impeachment. him.

“We gave our members a voice, we gave them an opportunity, we gave them a better process and ultimately a better policy,” Johnson told reporters after Saturday's vote.

Johnson said earlier this week that if he hadn't moved forward with his plan, he would have had more support for an effort to force a vote on the Senate bill, bypassing him. House Democrats He tried to use a rarely successful legislative maneuver It's called a discharge petition to do that, but falls short of the required 218 signatures.

“We're going to have to eat the Senate companion bill,” Johnson said.

The effort to oust Johnson so far has three Republican supporters: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Green of Georgia, Thomas Massey of Kentucky and Paul Kosar of Arizona. Kosar declared His support after more Democrats than Republicans on Friday Voted to carry the package forwardSet up the final column on Saturday.

The rebellion puts Johnson's job in jeopardy if Democrats don't step up to his rescue. But Green did not provide a timeline for when he plans to vote.

Johnson stood by his decision to put Ukraine aid to a vote. Johnson, citing secret briefings he received, said the aid was “crucial” in pushing back Russian aggression.

“I'm not walking around this building worrying about the movement to evacuate,” Johnson told reporters Saturday. “I've done what I believe to be the right thing here, and that is to let the House do its thing. Like I said, you do the right thing and the chips may fall where they may.”

CIA Director William Burns said this week With help from Congress, “Ukraine can sustain itself on the battlefield until 2024 and inflict damage on Russia, with deep strikes in Crimea and the sinking of 16 ships against Russia's Black Sea fleet. In the past six months, after warning of Ukraine's dire situation, they have sought additional financial aid from the United States.” If not received

– Grace Brown, Ellis Kim and Norah O'Donnell Contributed report.

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