House passes $60B Ukraine aid bill as GOP rebels threaten to oust Johnson


The House of Representatives has approved sending $60 billion to Ukraine for its defense against Russia’s invasion, an issue that has roiled Speaker Mike Johnson’s already perilously slim majority.

The aid package passed 311 to 112, with more Democrats voted in favor than Republicans – and just 101 Republicans voted for the bill while 112 voted nay.

In a dramatic moment toward the end of the vote, Democrats began passing around Ukrainian flags — in violation of House protocol, according to the lawmaker presiding over the vote, Rep. Marc Molinaro. The left side of the aisle exploded in cheers when the timer on the vote reached zero, earning admonishment from Molinaro, who told them the flag-waving was in violation of the rules and called it "inappropriate," to which Democrats jeered.

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., took to the microphones to chide, "Put those d--n flags away," earning more verbal backlash from Democrats before the chamber was called to order for the next vote.

House lawmakers are in session on a rare Saturday working to pass Johnson's $95 billion foreign aid plan, which also includes aid bills for Israel and the Indo-Pacific, as well as a bill with other national security measures. In a decisive victory for the Louisiana Republican, all four bills passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

The close margins within the GOP alone show what a divisive topic Ukraine funding has become for the right.

A growing number of fiscal conservatives have been skeptical about the U. S.’s continued financial involvement with Ukraine, while others have raised questions about corruption within Kyiv’s government.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's proposal to strip all funding related to Ukraine from the Ukraine funding bill predictably failed Saturday in a 71 to 351 vote.

More traditional Republicans and national security hawks warn that Ukraine’s victory is critical to preventing a wider conflict between NATO and Russia, warning that its President Vladimir Putin is rapidly forming a second "axis of evil" with Iran and China.

Johnson, who like his conservative colleagues was skeptical of Ukraine aid before becoming speaker, gave a sober warning earlier this week. "I really do believe the intel and the briefings that we've gotten that I believe [Chinese President Xi Jinpimg] and Vladimir Putin and Iran really are an axis of evil. And I think they're in coordination on this. I think that Vladimir Putin would continue to march through Europe if he were allowed. I think he might go to the Balkans next. I think he might have a showdown with Poland or one of our NATO allies," he told reporters. "To put it bluntly, I would rather send bullets to Ukraine than American boys," he said.... (Read more)

Submitted 34 days ago

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