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Speaker Mike Johnson

House clears foreign aid package

After months of delay and division, the House has approved tens of billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, a seminal moment in Mike Johnson’s speakership.

In what has become standard operating procedure, House Democrats – led by Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries – were key in clearing the trio of aid bills, providing critical votes to send the package to the Senate.

The Senate is expected to take up the $95 billion package early next week, sending it to President Joe Biden for his signature after passage.

Here’s a breakdown of each vote: 

The Ukraine aid – totaling $61 billion – passed 311-112, with 210 Democrats and 101 Republicans voting in favor. One hundred and twelve Republicans opposed the bill. 

The Israel funding bill cleared the chamber 366-58, with 173 Democrats in favor and 193 Republicans supporting. Of the 58 members opposed, 37 were Democrats and 21 were Republicans.  

The Indo-Pacific package passed 385-34, with 34 Republicans voting against the bill. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) voted present. 

A separate bill with a variety of national security priorities – including a prospective TikTok ban – also cleared the chamber alongside the rest of the bills, 360-58.

The quartet of bills will automatically be packaged together for Senate consideration. 

Another bill with a mix of GOP border priorities failed, 215-199. The bill was considered under suspension, meaning it needed a two-thirds majority to pass. 

Looking ahead: In his nearly six months as speaker, Johnson has completely shifted his stance on Ukraine. Once a staunch skeptic of U.S. intervention in foreign conflicts, Johnson only recently took up the cause in Kyiv, saying he’d rather send bullets than Americans to fight against the Russians. 

But the political dynamics are incredibly tricky for House Republican leadership. And the larger question here is whether this portends the end of Johnson’s speakership. The answer to that is unknown. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has vowed to remove Johnson. But Democrats are open to saving Johnson, likely by voting to table an eventual motion to vacate. 

The House has now left for a weeklong recess. They will return on April 29. On the docket: an FAA reauthorization bill and money for the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. 

And a possible challenge to Johnson’s leadership. 

– Jake Sherman, John Bresnahan, Max Cohen and Heather Caygle

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