House passes $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan

By Ehren Wynder
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks to reporters Saturday after the House passed a long-sought $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. Photo by Annabelle Gordon/UPI
1 of 2 | Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks to reporters Saturday after the House passed a long-sought $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. Photo by Annabelle Gordon/UPI | License Photo

April 20 (UPI) -- The Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Saturday passed a long-delayed $95 billion foreign aid package that includes funding for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., in a familiar fashion drew on Democratic support to push through the foreign aid plan that for months had been stalled by hardline GOP members.


Johnson split the package into four separate bills, aiming to give spurned Republican colleagues the opportunity to vote with their "conscience" on the measures they disliked.

The most contentious bill, a $61 billion military aid package for Ukraine, passed in a 311-112 vote, with Democrats overwhelming GOP opposition to the measure.

The other three measures passed with less friction. The $26.4 billion bill to support Israel passed with a 366-58 vote, and the $8.1 billion package to support Indo-Pacific allies against China passed with a 385-34 vote.


The fourth bill included a provision to allow the sale of the frozen assets of Russian oligarchs to finance future aid to Ukraine. The bill also would potentially force Chinese tech company ByteDance to sell TikTok, which Republicans and Democrats fear could pose a national security threat. That bill passed in a 360-58 vote.

With all four bills approved, they will be combined into a single package and sent to the Senate, which will need to vote "yes" before it heads to President Joe Biden's desk for his signature.

Biden in a statement responded to the House's approval of the spending bills, saying they come "at a moment of grave urgency, with Israel facing unprecedented attacks from Iran, and Ukraine under continued bombardment from Russia."

He then called on the Senate to quickly pass the bill, "so that I can sign it into law and we can quickly send weapons and equipment to Ukraine to meet their urgent battlefield needs."

The House-passed bills are similar to another $95 billion aid package the Senate passed in February. A key difference in the House bill is that it designated $10 billion of the Ukraine funding as a repayable loan to appease some Republicans.


The Senate's bill has sat idle in the House while Johnson balanced pleas from Democrats with Republican attacks on his speakership.

Johnson, instead, unveiled the House's spending bills earlier this week.

"This is the best possible product that we can get under these circumstances, to take care of these really important obligations," Johnson said of his plan on Friday, noting the House otherwise would have had to "eat" the Senate's bill.

Three far-right Republicans so far have called for Johnson's ouster. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona on Friday announced his intent to join Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Thomas Massie of Kentucky in their attempt to hold a vote to remove Johnson as speaker.

Greene hasn't yet indicated if and when she plans to force the vote. Some Republicans speculated she could be waiting to garner more support for the measure.

House Freedom Caucus chair Bob Good, R-Va., said on Friday while he does not support Johnson as speaker, trying to oust him six months before the election is not a wise move for Republicans.

"I think we ought to have a contest in November, a deliberative process to select, hopefully, the speaker of the House majority. But I don't think it'd be a wise course of action to do that now," he said.


For now, Johnson's speakership appears to be safe. Some centrist, pro-Ukraine Democrats have said they would defend Johnson in a vote to oust him.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday that the Senate would "move expeditiously" to approve the House bill and send it to Biden.

The United States has so far sent roughly $111 billion in military, humanitarian and other aid to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion more than two years ago.

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