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The House voted 316-94 to tee up votes on four separate bills that include aid to Ukraine and Israel, a good sign for the prospects of Congress approving U.S. funding for the two countries after months of delay and partisan fighting.

Speaker Mike Johnson, facing intense opposition from right-wing members, received crucial help from Democrats to move forward with the votes. More Democrats (165) than Republicans (151) voted to pass the “rule,” a procedural step to set up the votes.

The move tees up four House votes that are expected Saturday afternoon: one on Israel aid, another on Ukraine aid, another on Indo-Pacific security and a fourth bill that includes a bill designed to ban TikTok in the U.S. if it does not divest from its China-based owner, as well as various national security priorities. If they pass, the measures would be packaged together and sent to the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Taken together, the foreign aid measures closely resemble the $95 billion national security package pushed by President Joe Biden. The Senate would have to pass it again, due to some differences with the version that passed the upper chamber in February.

“The world is watching what the Congress does. Passing this legislation would send a powerful message about the strength of American leadership at a pivotal moment,” the White House budget office said in a statement Friday endorsing the House package. “The Administration urges both chambers of the Congress to quickly send this supplemental funding package to the President’s desk.

The House’s move followed a vote of 9-3 in the Rules Committee late Thursday to send the bills to the floor for a final vote, with Reps. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., Chip Roy, R-Texas, and Ralph Norman, R-S.C., breaking with Johnson to vote against it. But all four Democrats voted for the rule and rescued it, an extremely unusual move for the minority party.

“We only control one chamber, and I barely have control of that,” Johnson said Thursday on Newsmax, explaining why he couldn’t include GOP immigration measures in the package as some want. “The Senate won’t advance our legislation and the president won’t sign it. … I have a handful of my Republicans, at least, who will not advance a rule to bring that to the floor to combine it with the Ukraine and Israel funding. They won’t do it. And so if I don’t have Republican votes, that means we have to have Democratic votes. 

Johnson’s decision to move forward with the bills comes as two of his members — Massie and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. — threaten to remove him as speaker. They and many other House conservatives oppose additional aid to Ukraine.

“We’ll see what happens. I’m going to do my job. I’m not deterred by threats,” Johnson said Friday. “We’re going to do the right thing and let the chips fall where they may.”

But Johnson, who opposed Ukraine aid last year before he became speaker, now says he believes it is “critically important,” based on the intelligence and briefings he has since gotten.

“I think Vladimir Putin would continue to march through Europe if he were allowed,” he told reporters earlier this week.

“I would rather send bullets to Ukraine than American boys,” Johnson said, adding that his son is entering the Naval Academy this fall. “This is a live-fire exercise for me as it is so many American families. This is not a game, this is not a joke.”

The fourth bill includes a provision to force China-based ByteDance to sell TikTok within nine months, which the president can extend to a year, or face a ban in the U.S. The provision, which has Senate buy-in as well as Biden’s support, puts TikTok closer than ever to a prohibition in the country.

Democrats praised the move to proceed to House votes, highlighting their party’s key role.

“It is vital that Congress act to send assistance to support Ukraine and fend off Russian aggression,” Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., said on X. “We may be in the minority, but we are not going to let that urgent mission fail. Democrats are doing what it takes to make sure Ukraine gets help.”

Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., said Democrats were effectively in charge: “We may be in the minority in the House right now, but @RepJeffries is essentially functioning as the real Speaker already. Rs couldn’t get their own bills out of the committee they control so Ds had to help them. Work horses not just show horses.”





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