The Senate passed a $95.3 billion aid package for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan in a bipartisan vote early Tuesday morning — but like pretty much everything these days, it seems destined to end up in the House GOP’s legislative graveyard.
In a 70-22 vote, a rare supermajority in the upper chamber, the Senate approved $60 billion in aid for Ukraine in its ongoing war against Russia, $23 billion in security and humanitarian assistance to Israel, and $4.8 billion for partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
They likely won’t see a penny of it, given that House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has already declared Republicans intent to torpedo the bill.
On Monday night, Johnson signaled that his caucus was prepared to reject the legislation because “the mandate of national security supplemental legislation was to secure America’s own border before sending additional foreign aid around the world,” and that, “ in the absence of having received any single border policy change from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own will on these important matters.”
Ironically, the Senate did deliver the House a massive border and immigration reform package earlier this month — which Johson and other hardline members of his party tanked for reasons that are not clear beyond Donald Trump telling them to in a push to deny President Joe Biden a major policy victory ahead of the November general election.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Johnson to “rise to the occasion,” “do the right thing,” and “bring this bill to the floor,” during a press conference on Tuesday.
“It’s clear that if Speaker Johnson brings this bill to the House floor, it will pass with that same bipartisan support. The responsibility now falls on Speaker Johnson and House Republicans to approve the bill swiftly,” Schumer added.
"I call on Speaker Johnson to rise to the occasion, to do the right thing: bring this bill to the floor."
— Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) calls on the House to bring up the bipartisan $95 billion foreign aid bill for a vote after his chamber passed it pic.twitter.com/K5fUyA1WST
— The Recount (@therecount) February 13, 2024
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed Schumer’s sentiments, writing in his own statement that “our adversaries want America to decide that reinforcing allies and partners is not in our interest, and that investing in strategic competition is not worth it. They want us to take hard-earned credibility and light it on fire.”
“History settles every account. And today, on the value of American leadership and strength, history will record that the Senate did not blink,” he wrote.
While McConnell feels the Senate may not have blinked, it’s clear the House is driving with its eyes closed.
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