House Votes to Pass $95 Billion Foreign Aid Package for Ukraine and Israel

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.On Saturday, the US House of Representatives voted to pass a $95 billion foreign aid package to assist Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan, as well as a TikTok ban requiring the popular app’s Chinese parent company ByteDance to divest from the platform within up to a year or face a nationwide prohibition in the United States. The combined bills will now go to the Senate, where the package could be voted on as early as next week. President Joe Biden has showed support for the package. 
A rule to bring the bills to the House floor passed on Friday with critical support from Democrats. It came as House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) faced increased pressure—and threats of being ousted—from hardline Republicans opposed to sending more aid to Ukraine without a border deal. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), who signed on to Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s resolution to vacate against Johnson said the GOP Speaker was “colluding” with Democrats. “To send $100 billion overseas without reinforcing our own borders shows that we put America last,” he told reporters on Saturday.
Three foreign aid bills, which resembled proposed legislation that passed the Senate in February, secured $60.8 billion in emergency funding for Ukraine, $26.4 billion to support Israel—including money for missile defense systems, weapons, and humanitarian assistance—in “its effort to defend itself against Iran and its proxies,” and $8.1 billion to counter China’s activities in the Indo-Pacific region. The Ukraine bill passed by a 311-112 margin, with all House Democrats in favor of the measure and most Republicans against it. The vote for assistance to Israel was 366 to 58.  
The House also voted 360-58 to pass the national security bill 21st Century Peace through Strength Act, which experts and US government officials say the changes have less to do with Texas than with seasonal migratory patterns and more strict crackdowns from Mexico. It included sanctions on Iran, seizure of frozen Russian assets, and the crackdown on TikTok. Supporters of the ban say the video platform represents a national security threat because China could potentially access user data and even interfere with US elections. In March, the House passed on a 352-65 bipartisan vote a stand-alone version of the TikTok ban dubbed the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act” that got stalled in the Senate.
“It is unfortunate that the House of Representatives is using the cover of important foreign and humanitarian assistance to once again jam through a ban bill that would trample the free speech rights of 170 million Americans, devastate 7 million businesses, and shutter a platform that contributes $24 billion to the US economy, annually,” TikTok said in an online statement earlier this week.