- “Coming soon: Democrats to file discharge petition to bring Ukraine funding to the House floor,” Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., wrote in X
- The Biden administration has slapped Russia with 500 new sanctions following the death in prison of Vladimir Putin dissident Alexei Navalny
Democrats are studying a new solution to force aid to Ukraine through the House of Representatives and overcome the hesitations of President Mike Johnson.
Democratic leaders have quietly put in place mechanisms that could push for a discharge petition, which would force a floor vote on aid to Ukraine if a majority of lawmakers sign it.
“Coming soon: Democrats will file a discharge petition to bring Ukraine funding to the House floor,” Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., wrote in X.
‘I’ll be in line to sign it. The votes are there. Are there a dozen Republicans with an ounce of courage to sign it and help Ukraine survive? Stay tuned.’
“I have heard more about a discharge call in the last two days from foreign leaders – at the highest levels – than in my previous 11 years in office combined,” said House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, at the Munich Security Conference.
Ukrainian officer Maksym Radchenko walks amid the devastation caused by a Russian glide bomb that landed on a road near a school in the village of Petropavlivka, as the Ukrainian armed forces strengthen their defensive positions and Russian troops investigate the front line .
“Coming soon: Democrats to file discharge petition to bring Ukraine funding to the House floor,” Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., wrote in X
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has imposed 500 new sanctions on Russia following the death in prison of Vladimir Putin dissident Alexei Navalny and the arrest of an American dancer who donated $51 to Ukraine.
Last week, the Senate approved a $95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, Gaza and the Indo-Pacific that Johnson said the House will not be pressured to approve. He has said that he first needs to sit down with President Biden to discuss enforcement of border measures.
GOP leaders have said they will not prioritize any foreign aid until a spending plan for fiscal year 2024 is approved. The March 1 and March 8 deadlines to pass spending bills for fund the government, five months after the original deadline, which has been interrupted three times with continuing resolutions.
Last week, the Rules Committee’s top Democrat, Jim McGovern, introduced a resolution “to promote responsible policies,” which could be the legislative vehicle used to force a vote on aid to Ukraine or the full foreign aid deal passed. by the Senate.
“I have heard more about a discharge call in the last two days from foreign leaders, at the highest levels, than in my previous 11 years in office combined,” said House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, at the Munich Security Conference.
If they proceeded with the Senate deal, some progressive Democrats would likely walk away and vote against opposition to aid to Israel. Aid to Ukraine alone is largely supported by the Democratic caucus.
Democrats would also need the votes of a handful of Republicans to reach a majority of 218 signatures on their petition.
It is not clear whether any Republicans will oppose his leadership and join the Democratic effort, although there are several moderates who have not ruled it out.
Separately, a bipartisan group is pushing for a different funding mechanism for Ukraine in a border security and military aid-only bill.
That bill offers $66 billion in defense-only aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan and new border security provisions that would last a year.
It also includes a ‘Remain in Mexico’ provision that would resurrect the Trump-era policy requiring migrants seeking asylum to wait in Mexico until their application is processed. Another provision requires the secretary of Homeland Security to suspend all entry of “inadmissible aliens” if the department ever loses operational control of the border.
Secretary of State Michael McCaul last week suggested making some adjustments to the Senate relief bill, such as offering government assistance in the form of loans instead of grants or redirecting frozen Russian assets from central bank reserves to Ukraine. .
Discharge petitions have rarely been successful: only two have managed to bring a bill to the House since 2000.