House Approves $60 Billion for Ukraine Despite GOP Opposition


With the support of 210 Democrats, the Republican-led House of Representatives voted Saturday to approve President Joe Biden’s request for another $60 billion to aid Ukraine. After months of uncertainty, the bill now heads to the Senate for final approval.

More Republicans opposed the Ukraine funding bill than supported it, racking up 112 votes against the measure compared to 101 in favor. The final vote was 311-112. Not a single Democrat voted against the bill. (See how your member voted on the bill.)

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., attempted to put a positive spin on the legislation, despite his own party’s strong rebuke.

“Even though it’s not the perfect legislation—it’s not the legislation that we would write if Republicans were in charge of both the House, the Senate, and the White House—this is the best possible product that we can get under these circumstances,” Johnson said.

Saturday’s vote ends a tumultuous week for Johnson, who now faces the prospect of losing his leadership post for choosing to prioritize Ukraine funding over border security. Three GOP lawmakers are sponsoring a motion to remove Johnson as speaker.

The House speaker’s handling of foreign aid and U.S. border security has so incensed three fellow House Republicans, including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Thomas Massie of Kentucky—seen here at a news conference at the Capitol on Nov. 17, 2022—to call for his ouster as speaker. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A separate border-related bill failed Saturday, although it was expected to be dead on arrival in the Senate.

The House voted on five bills Saturday, which will now be sent in a consolidated legislative package for the Senate to approve. In February, senators voted 70-29 to approve Biden’s $95.3 billion supplemental spending request and are expected to vote on the revised House package next week.

In addition to the Ukraine funding ($60.84 billion), lawmakers also approved separate bills for Israel ($26.38 billion), the Indo-Pacific ($8.12 billion), and the 21st Century Peace Through Strength Act, a bill that would impose more sanctions on China, Iran, and Russia. They also adopted a measure requiring TikTok’s parent company to sever ties with the Communist Chinese government or cease operations within the United States.

The House voted Friday, 316-94, to combine the four bills into a single package that mirrors Biden’s original $95.3 billion request. Friday’s vote to consolidate the bills received unusually high opposition from Republicans, who are typically united on such procedural motions. In this case, 55 GOP lawmakers voted against the speaker’s consolidation plan along with 39 Democrats.

>>> These 55 Republicans Voted Against Speaker Johnson’s Foreign Aid Scheme

Losing that many Republican lawmakers on a rule vote is extremely uncommon in the House of Representatives. Such measures are typically party-line votes in which the minority party is united in opposition to the majority.

As was the case with the rule vote on Friday, Johnson relied on House Democrats secure final passage of the Ukraine funding on Saturday.

Heritage Action for America, the grassroots partner of The Heritage Foundation, which boasts 2 million activists nationwide, opposed the Ukraine bill. (Heritage founded The Daily Signal in 2014.)

“The foreign aid package moving through the House this week is almost indistinguishable from the Senate’s failed supplemental spending bill House leadership claimed to oppose for months,” Heritage Action President Dr. Kevin Roberts said. “While their position seems to have changed, ours is resolute: Conservatives have not, do not, and will not support another unaccountable, nearly $60 billion check for a foreign country to secure its border while our own lies dangerously wide-open.”

>>> Speaker Johnson’s Shrewd Plan to Pass Biden’s Foreign Aid Package, Explained

Roberts’ perspective was echoed by conservatives on Capitol Hill.

“Speaker Johnson made it essentially impossible to vote for any of the bills before the House today without assisting in the effort to send $60 billion to Ukraine and up to $9 billion to Hamas,” Sen. Mike Lee said. “He also made it impossible to condition any of those things on U.S. border security.”

“‘As much as it takes, as long as it takes’ is not a mission statement, but a recipe for disaster,” Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, said. “Bad news does not get better with time. This is a plan to expand the war.”

“Our rules demand single subject bills for a reason,” Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., said. “‘Leadership’s’ foreign aid packages provide additional funds for Ukraine, Taiwan, & more. Don’t be fooled, this is Chuck Schumer’s bill broken up in several votes.”

“This $60 billion for Ukraine is a debt we’re putting on our grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., said. “We’ve already sent Ukraine $114 billion. No more.”

“I implore my colleagues to put America’s border security ahead of Ukraine’s,” Rep. Keith Self, R-Texas, said.

Johnson’s office circulated talking points this week attempting to counter conservative criticism on the border, noting that Republicans passed the Secure the Border Act (HR 2) in May 2023. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has yet to bring to bring it up for consideration.

“If Democrats cared about securing our border, they could take immediate action,” Johnson’s memo stated. “Russia, Iran, and China’s current aggressions are the result of President Biden’s feckless foreign policies, and we cannot reward America’s adversaries because of Democrats’ refusal to take this issue seriously.”

>>> In Congress, US Border Security Takes Back Seat to Foreign Bailouts

Johnson’s office also touted differences between the House’s Ukraine bill and the earlier version adopted by the Senate, most notably, the inclusion of the REPO Act and economic aid in the form of a repayable loan.

Both measures, however, have come under criticism. The REPO Act, which would transfer $4.95 billion worth of Russian assets to Ukraine, is “counterproductive and long-term problematic,” according to a Heritage Foundation analysis. Not only does the bill give “unprecedented legal authorities” to the Biden administration, but it also poses risks to the U.S. economy and threatens to undermine the global finance system.

The loan, according to Heritage Action, gives the U.S. president “authority to cancel 50% of that debt after Nov. 15, 2024, and then can cancel the remaining 50% after January 2026.”

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine two years ago, the United States has allocated about $113 billion to Ukraine, averaging approximately $900 per American household. Despite this, the Biden administration persistently has sought an additional $60 billion from U.S. taxpayers to bolster efforts in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“Beyond the absurdity of the Ukraine funding, which includes a fake ‘loan’ that is conveniently waivable two weeks after the election in November, the other bills in this package each have their own glaring issues,” Roberts said in the Heritage Action statement. “The legislation to support our allies in Israel is being used as leverage to force through the whole package—but dangerously includes billions of dollars for corrupt NGOs [nongovernmental organizations]. The ‘REPO Act,’ included to sweeten the overall deal, risks weakening the U.S. dollar and is a costly liability for taxpayers, and the critical TikTok bill has already been sent to the Senate.”

Roberts added, “Heritage sees through the Swamp’s spin and will not absolve lawmakers of accountability. We know the American people won’t either.”

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