Speaker Johnson Proposes Separate Bills on Israel And Ukraine Aid

 This week, the GOP-led House will consider separate bills to provide aid to Israel and Ukraine as well as other foreign causes, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) announced on Monday.

The plan is to take up “national security supplemental legislation on the growing security crises” with a “with a structured and germane amendment process,” Johnson said in a post to X.

He listed multiple different bills, but left out certain details, such as how much each one might cost the American taxpayer.

One bill will provide funds to Israel while another will support Ukraine in its “war against Russian aggression,” Johnson said. He noted the third aims to “strengthen our allies in the Indo-Pacific,” which likely includes Taiwan.

Johnson also said the House will work to pass other “measures to counter our adversaries and strengthen our national security.”

Reports indicated the additional legislation could include a TikTok ban, a lease program for military assistance to Ukraine, use of the REPO Act to use seized assets from Russian oligarchs to help fund Ukraine’s war effort, and more.

Johnson told reporters the House will “honor” the 72-hour rule, allowing members three days to read the text of the legislation. He suggested legislation text could be released early Tuesday and votes may happen by Friday evening.

The announcement comes after Iran launched a drone and missile attack on Israel over the weekend, prompting declarations of support from lawmakers on both sides for Israel.

Now could be the time for a break in the impasse on foreign aid. A House-passed bill that would have provided $14.3 billion in emergency aid to Israel with an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offset got blocked in the Democrat-controlled Senate last year.

The Senate passed in February a $95 billion foreign aid bill, but House GOP leadership declined to take up that package while demanding border security reforms be part of the equation.

In the upper chamber, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has called for the House to pass the Senate bill, noting that it received bipartisan support.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) has done the same, but he reportedly would not rule out Democrats voting for the rule governing the bills proposed by Johnson on Monday prior to seeing what the plan entailed.

Johnson told CNN that his “personal preference” was to pass the bills individually, but he also conceded that lawmakers were discussing whether they would ultimately be “merged together” in one package.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said on X that he supported considering the aid bills separately but objected to the idea of combining them.

Republicans have a narrow majority in the House and can only endure a couple defectors in party-line votes if all members are participating.

The debate on providing supplemental national security assistance to U.S. allies stems back to last fall when President Joe Biden made a roughly $105 billion request of Congress.

In addition to Johnson unveiling his plan to work on foreign aid, the House passed sanctions legislation and voted to send a FISA Section 702 reauthorization bill to the Senate on Monday.

Speaker Johnson Proposes Separate Bills on Israel And Ukraine Aid Speaker Johnson Proposes Separate Bills on Israel And Ukraine Aid Reviewed by Your Destination on April 16, 2024 Rating: 5

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