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House to Consider $95 Billion in Foreign Aid Bills Despite Firm Opposition

Speaker Mike Johnson (Credits: Rolling Stone)

Republican Speaker Mike Johnson announced on Wednesday that the House of Representatives is set to vote on aid packages for Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific, possibly as soon as Saturday. Despite strong objections from the right wing of his party, Johnson aims to push the legislation forward.

The proposed legislation, exposed by the House Appropriations Committee, allocates over $95 billion in security assistance. Of this, $60.84 billion is designated for addressing the conflict in Ukraine, with $23.2 billion aimed at replenishing U.S. weapons, stocks, and facilities.

The Israel bill accounts for $26.38 billion, covering the costs of recent military operations in response to attacks, while $9.1 billion is earmarked for humanitarian aid, albeit with a ban on funding for the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA. Additionally, the Indo-Pacific measure amounts to $8.12 billion.

Mike Johnson (Credits: Axios)

The urgency for security aid intensified following Iran’s attacks on Israel over the weekend, in retaliation for an alleged Israeli airstrike on Iran’s embassy compound in Damascus earlier in April.

Johnson intends to allow House members 72 hours to review the legislation and propose amendments before the final vote on Saturday. He also plans to introduce a separate border security bill to address concerns from conservative factions within the party.

President Joe Biden has urged Congress to swiftly pass the aid bill, emphasizing solidarity with allies and opposition to the ambitions of Iran and Russia.

While the Senate had passed a similar $95 billion foreign assistance package with bipartisan support earlier, Johnson had delayed action despite resistance from hard-right lawmakers, some of whom threatened to challenge his leadership as speaker.

Mike Johnson (Credits: RBC-Ukraine)

Democratic support is crucial for Johnson’s plan, given the narrow Republican majority in the House and opposition from far-right Republicans. Representative Rosa DeLauro, the top House Appropriations Democrat, expressed support for the bills, highlighting the importance of providing aid to allies and humanitarian assistance.

However, opposition remains, with objections from both ends of the political spectrum. Hardline Republicans, aligned with former President Donald Trump, oppose aid to Ukraine, while some on the left express concerns about supporting Israel despite its military actions.

Despite challenges from within his party, Johnson remains committed to advancing the aid packages, emphasizing the importance of supporting Ukraine and addressing global security concerns.

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