President Mike Johnson said he will not introduce the Senate’s national security relief bill in the House of Representatives, hours after the Senate spent all night pushing the bill through its chamber.
“I certainly don’t plan on it,” he told reporters Tuesday. “Right now we’re dealing with the appropriations process, we have immediate deadlines and that’s where the focus is in the House right now.”
The $95 billion aid package included funding for Ukraine, Israel, Gaza and Taiwan. The immigration provisions were scrapped entirely after Conservatives insisted they did not go far enough to secure the southern border.
Without Johnson’s approval, there is now talk of forcing the agreement through the arcane discharge request. That would require 218 members to sign a lawsuit to force the legislation to come to the floor.
“With all options on the table, we will use every legislative tool available,” Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries told reporters. “There are more than 300 bipartisan votes” to pass the foreign aid bill, he said.
Johnson said he will not introduce the Senate’s national security aid bill in the House of Representatives, hours after the Senate spent all night pushing the bill through its chamber.
Without Johnson’s approval, there is now talk of forcing the agreement through the arcane discharge request. “With all options on the table, we will use every legislative tool available,” Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries told reporters.
It passed the Senate on Tuesday morning after an unusual all-night session that ended with a 70-29 vote.
In total, the package includes $61 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel in its war against Hamas and $4.83 billion to support its partners in the Indo-Pacific, including Taiwan, to deter Chinese aggression.
It also provides $9.15 billion in humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza and the West Bank, Ukraine and other conflict zones around the world.
President Biden on Tuesday implored the House to approve the deal. “History is watching,” he said. “We will never forget the lack of support for Ukraine at this critical time.”
Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urged Johnson to allow the bill to reach the House of Representatives.
‘We have heard all kinds of rumors about whether the House supports Ukraine or not. It seems to me that the easiest way to solve it would be to vote,” McConnell said. political.
After House Speaker Mike Johnson objected to the deal’s immigration provisions, senators focused on passing it without them. But Johnson later insisted that he wanted border measures, but not the immigration reform they had offered.
He called the deal “insufficient” without border security measures in a late-night statement, saying the Senate “has failed to seize the moment.”
“Now, absent any changes to border policy from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own way through these important issues,” Johnson continued. “America deserves better than the Senate status quo.”
But Johnson has not scheduled another stand-alone Israel aid bill that failed last week.
“We knew this would happen,” Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., chairman of the right-wing Freedom Caucus, told reporters. “We knew the Senate would return it without the intended border security.”
‘We should not borrow $100 billion from our children or grandchildren to send them abroad. It’s basically supported by Hamas, with money going to Gaza… Support for Israel, which has almost unanimous support among Republicans, should not be held hostage by these other concerns.’
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., blamed Mitch McConnell for the dysfunction as other Republicans mooted ousting the longtime leader.
The United States has had to cut military aid to Ukraine after its budget authority was exhausted. The second anniversary of the Russian invasion is approaching
Ukraine’s war with Russia has been going on for more than two years.
He then asked Johnson to approve aid to Israel with offsets. But Johnson already did it months ago, paying for it by taking money from the IRS, and the Senate flatly rejected it.
Last week, Republicans failed on a $118 billion bipartisan deal to bolster border security while funding Ukraine and Israel. They accused him of not going far enough to secure the border and said he would solidify Biden’s “open border” policies.
It wasn’t easy getting Senate Republicans to join the smaller $95 billion deal without immigration measures as tempers soared over the failed border deal.
But in the end, more than a dozen Republicans voted to pass the bill along with Democrats out of fear that Russian President Putin would be emboldened.
Tuesday morning’s vote had the support of 22 Republicans. However, two Democrats, Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Peter Welch of Vermont, and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, voted against it.