Washington Examiner

Democrats rescue Johnson as foreign aid bill passes critical stage in the House

The House advanced Speaker Mike Johnson’s foreign aid legislation after House Democrats helped secure a procedural vote, setting the stage ⁢for a final vote. The bill faced opposition ⁣from some hard-line House GOP⁣ members. Amid criticism and ‍internal ⁣GOP tensions, the fate of the foreign aid package now ​hangs in the‌ balance, with key amendments and decisions impacting its progression. The House moved forward with Speaker Mike Johnson’s⁤ foreign ⁢aid legislation thanks to⁤ House Democrats’ assistance in securing a‍ procedural vote, paving the way for the ​final decision. ⁢Despite facing resistance from certain hard-line House GOP members, the ⁣bill’s future is uncertain amidst ⁣internal ​tensions and crucial amendments that could influence its advancement.

The House advanced Speaker Mike Johnson‘s (R-LA) four-pronged foreign aid legislation through a procedural vote on Friday, largely thanks to House Democrats who helped push it over the line, setting up for a final vote on the package this weekend.

Though rule votes historically fall along party lines, several hard-line House GOP members have weaponized the rule vote over the 118th Congress to push back against legislation with which they do not agree. On Friday, over 50 House Republicans voted against the rule, but ultimately over 160 Democrats joined Republicans in voting for the rule, allowing it to pass, 316 to 94.

This is not the first time Democrats have bailed out Johnson for this package. Three GOP members — Reps. Ralph Norman (R-SC), Chip Roy (R-TX), and Thomas Massie (R-KY) — voted against the rule during a late-night meeting of the House Rules Committee on Thursday. All four Democrats on the committee voted in favor of the rule, allowing it to advance out of committee, 9-3, and head to the floor for a full-member vote.

“The world is watching. It is time for Congress to act. And act we must,” Rules Committee ranking member Jim McGovern (D-MA) said during debate ahead of the vote, reminding members that Democrats are providing the votes necessary to bring the bills to the floor.

In the Rules Committee, members did strike down a number of amendments filed by hard-line conservatives, narrowing the list down to seven amendments for consideration on the floor during debate. No amendments were allowed for the Israel aid measure, which could impact how some progressive Democrats vote on Saturday.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who is a staunch opponent of Ukraine aid, secured one of the seven amendments that are up for consideration. Her amendment would simply eliminate all funding in the $60.8 billion Ukraine bill. Another amendment of hers that would require any member who votes in favor of the package “to conscript in the Ukrainian military” was struck down in committee.

Passing the rule vote sets the stage for a final vote this weekend on the foreign aid package, which provides aid to Ukraine, Israel, and other nations, as well as a fourth bill combining sanctions and the TikTok bill to force Chinese divestment in the popular social media video app. A fifth bill on border security, separate of the foreign aid package, will also be considered.

Johnson’s four-pronged plan fractured the GOP once again and plunged the conference into another chaotic week, with several hard-right Republicans criticizing the speaker for relying on Democrats to pass the bills and some threatening a possible motion to vacate to end his speakership.

Ahead of the rule vote on the floor, several House Freedom Caucus members were urging their colleagues to vote against the rule and blasted Johnson for his efforts to “steamroll” the GOP.

“Dems voted out the rule and for the first time since 1995 when they started keeping track, the Speaker will use Minority votes to steamroll his own party,” Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) said in a post to X.

Rep. Eli Crane (R-AZ), in response to Perry’s post, commented, “Put America first. Kill the rule.”

Some members have come out in public support of Johnson as Greene’s previously filed motion to vacate hovers over the speaker’s head. She has the formal support of at least one colleague, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY).

Rumors circulated on Thursday that Johnson was looking to include a change to the threshold to bring a motion to vacate forward in the foreign aid rule, but the speaker shut down speculation in a post to X.

“Recently, many members have encouraged me to endorse a new rule to raise this threshold,” Johnson said Thursday. “While I understand the importance of that idea, any rule change requires a majority of the full House, which we do not have. We will continue to govern under the existing rules.”

Under the current rules, any one member can propose a motion to remove the House speaker. That rule was agreed to by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy to garner enough support to secure the gavel himself — before being ousted just nine months later.


Still, some Republicans are in favor of changing the threshold. Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-WI) said in an interview with the Washington Examiner that allowing one person to bring a motion to vacate was a “terrible tactical error” and that he “absolutely” supports changing it.

“The reason being that gave anybody the ability to exercise coercion over the speaker of the House. And that is not how you govern, and that never should have passed,” Van Orden said.

" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."

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