House Ends Stalemate, Backs Aid to Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan

Biden and Zelensky thank lawmakers who voted for Johnson's plan
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2024 2:00 PM CDT
House Approves $95B in Aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan
Speaker Mike Johnson answers questions from reporters just after the House voted to approve his foreign aid package Saturday at the Capitol.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The House on Saturday ended its monthslong standoff over foreign aid, approving a $95 billion package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. The legislation put together by Speaker Mike Johnson—whose job has been threatened by members of his caucus over the issue—received help from Democrats, who broke out in cheers in the chamber. The package could be taken up by the Senate as soon as Tuesday, the New York Times reports. "We did our work here, and I think history will judge it well," Johnson said, per the AP. President Biden, who said he'll sign the bills, issued a statement thanking the lawmakers "who voted to put our national security first."

The package includes:

  • $26.4 billion for Israel: This bill passed 366-58, with more Republicans than Democrats voting yes, per the Washington Post. The funding includes humanitarian aid for civilians in zones of conflict, such as Gaza.
  • $60.8 billion for Ukraine: The vote was 311-112, with all Democrats in favor. Republicans split, with 101 in support, 112 against the bill, and one member voting present. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's amendment to eliminate all funding to Ukraine to help it fight Russia's invasion drew the votes of 71 Republicans.
  • $8.1 billion for Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific: The bill cleared 385-34, with more Democrats than Republicans voting yes.

Opposition from some Republicans, such as Greene, was bitter. Others made high-minded appeals. "Our adversaries are working together to undermine our Western values and demean our democracy," GOP Rep. Michael McCaul said during debate. "We have to do what's right," he added. "Evil is on the march. History is calling." Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky posted his appreciation to Johnson and other lawmakers on X. He said the assistance to his country will "keep the war from expanding, save thousands and thousands of lives, and help both of our nations to become stronger." (More House of Representatives stories.)

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