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GOP congressman woos Dems to back foreign aid bill

Co-chair of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., speaks, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. The Associated Press/Photo by Jacquelyn Martin

GOP congressman woos Dems to back foreign aid bill

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., confirmed on Thursday that his bipartisan foreign aid package making its way through the House of Representatives will include humanitarian aid to Gaza and lend-lease language to supply financial assistance to Ukraine and Israel.

Fitzpatrick said the lend-lease provisions will apply to Department of Defense assistance to ensure that some degree of the proposed aid will be paid back.

The final text of the bill has not been made public, but Fitzpatrick’s pledge to include humanitarian aid is key to winning over the Democratic lawmakers. He would need to bring the bill to the floor over the objections of Republican leadership. He has one chance to edit the bill before it’s finalized.

“I speak to Leader Jeffries regularly,” Fitzpatrick said. “We have our draft text. We get to drop in anything we want. Once we drop it in, we can’t change it, so we want to … make sure Democrats and Republicans are good with it.”

What does this bill mean for foreign aid?  Republicans in the House of Representatives have adamantly opposed any foreign aid package that doesn’t also address southern border security. Last month, the House overwhelmingly rejected a bipartisan proposal from the Senate that they argued didn’t adequately meet their demands. But a growing minority of GOP lawmakers want to pass some sort of foreign aid package—even if they have to go around leadership to do it, and even if it doesn’t have most of the border provisions Democrats oppose.

Fitzpatrick’s bill, submitted through a discharge petition, would force a vote on his bill over the opposition of leadership. The proposed bill, a smaller version of the $118 billion Senate package, looks to consolidate support for the idea among Republicans and Democrats. Fitzpatrick would need to collect 218 signatures to force a vote on his bill.

Dig deeper:  Read my report in The Stew on Fitzpatrick’s discharge petition and why it’s gaining traction.

Leo Briceno

Leo is a WORLD politics reporter based in Washington, D.C. He’s a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and has a degree in political journalism from Patrick Henry College.


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