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House passes foreign aid package as border security bill stalls

The bipartisan approvals come during division among Republicans in the House over foreign aid

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., talks to reporters on Saturday. Associated Press/Photo by J. Scott Applewhite

House passes foreign aid package as border security bill stalls

The U.S. House of Representatives passed four foreign aid bills with bipartisan support Saturday afternoon, equipping Ukraine, Israel, and American allies in the Indo-Pacific region. It also passed a slew of other security measures. The combined cost of the packages is $95 billion. Meanwhile, a package of bills for U.S. border security failed to gain the supermajority of votes it needed.

Here are summaries of some of the bills voted on by the House:

The Indo-Pacific Security Supplemental Appropriations Act

The House overwhelmingly passed aid for Taiwan, upgrades to the U.S. Navy, and increased funding for research and development of naval technology 385-34. The total cost of the package comes to $8.2 billion, with $1.9 billion to replace defense stocks and services provided to Taiwan and regional allies.

The Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act

The House passed the Israel package by a vote of 366-58. The measures contained $26.4 billion in aid. The package comes as other countries in the United Nations have pressured Israel to take greater precautions against civilian casualties. The package included $5.6 billion in humanitarian aid to Gaza, a provision that was a must-have for many Democrats but a non-starter for Republicans concerned about inadvertently providing further funding to Hamas.

The Ukraine Security Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2024

The Ukraine supplemental bill largely contained language restocking American equipment and ammunition that had already been provided in assistance to Ukraine’s war against Russia. According to information from the office of House Speaker Mike Johnson, eighty percent of the $60.9 billion would go to American resupply. The package passed 311-112, with all opposition coming from Republicans.

The 21st Century Peace through Strength Act

By a vote of 360-58, the House passed a collection of national security measures that, among other things, would allow the United States to seize Russian assets and enact sanctions on Iranian petroleum. It would also force the divesture of Chinese owners from the U.S. version of TikTok, the popular social media app. The bill includes language the House has already passed–with hopes that attachment to the other three bills will force the Democrat-controlled Senate to consider them.

The End the Border Catastrophe Act

A U.S. border security package that accompanied the foreign aid bills to the floor failed 215-167, falling short of the three-fifths majority it needed to pass under suspension of the rules. The procedural move circumvented amendments and floor debate in exchange for a higher threshold for votes to pass.

What’s the context? Republicans in the House of Representatives have been divided for months over foreign aid. The most conservative members have urged Speaker Johnson to avoid any further funding for Ukraine without first passing legislation on border security.

Many Republicans have expressed frustrations with Johnson for bringing Ukraine funding to the floor without attaching border legislation directly to the foreign aid language. While Democrats have strongly called for Ukraine aid, they have been reluctant to consider border measures passed by the House. They contend the border bills would harm legitimate immigration, infringe on protections for asylum seekers, and target crossers who have already been in the United States for some time.

Any GOP-led border funding would have certainly met stiff resistance in the Democrat-controlled Senate, but some Republicans had hoped that the addition of Ukraine aid could have cleared the way for a border package.

Dig deeper: Read my report in The Stew on why foreign aid has split a vocal minority of Republicans from the bulk of the party.

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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