House approves $95 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

An additional bill could force the sale of TikTok.

April 20, 2024, 4:30 PM

The House of Representatives on Saturday passed a series of foreign aid bills that allocate $60.8 billion for Ukraine, $26.4 billion for Israel and $8 billion for Taiwan and other Indo-Pacific allies.

Another bill, passed by a vote of 360-58, would force the sale of TikTok and imposes strong sanctions on Iran, China and Russia. An amendment to that bill requires the Treasury Department to submit a report on Iranian assets and sanction exemptions.

The four bills will now be sent to the Senate as a package. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Saturday that the Senate will take up the bills on Tuesday afternoon.

The bill providing $8 billion in security aid for the Indo-Pacific region, including Taiwan, passed overwhelmingly in the House by a vote of 385-34-1. Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan was the only member who voted present.

The House passed the Ukraine foreign aid bill by a vote of 311-112-1.

The House passed the Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act by a vote of 366-58.

Democrats briefly waved Ukrainian flags during the vote, an action that prompted House Speaker Mike Johnson to remind them it was a violation for members to wave flags on the floor.

Earlier, a GOP border security bill failed by a vote of 215-199. It was considered under suspension and did not reach a two-thirds majority. This bill was separate from the four foreign aid bills.

After Democrats helped Johnson avoid defeat and advance the legislation on Friday, lawmakers considered amendments and held debate on Saturday before voting on final passage.

President Joe Biden thanked House members for passing foreign aid package for Ukraine and Israel and said that the package comes at a "critical inflection point" for those nations.

"It comes at a moment of grave urgency, with Israel facing unprecedented attacks from Iran, and Ukraine under continued bombardment from Russia," Biden said in a statement Saturday.

Biden also pointed to the "desperately needed humanitarian aid to Gaza, Sudan, Haiti" included in the funding. Biden hailed the work of leaders in the House and the bipartisan group of lawmakers who he said "voted to put our national security first," and called on the Senate to get the package to his desk.

"I urge the Senate to quickly send this package to my desk so that I can sign it into law and we can quickly send weapons and equipment to Ukraine to meet their urgent battlefield needs," Biden added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy applauded the passing of the bill with bipartisan support in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.

"I am grateful to the United States House of Representatives, both parties, and personally Speaker Mike Johnson for the decision that keeps history on the right track. Democracy and freedom will always have global significance and will never fail as long as America helps to protect it," Zelenskyy said in a statement.

He added, "The vital U.S. aid bill passed today by the House will keep the war from expanding, save thousands and thousands of lives, and help both of our nations to become stronger. We hope that bills will be supported in the Senate and sent to President Biden's desk. Thank you, America!"

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also thanked the House for approving aid.

"The US Congress just overwhelmingly passed a much appreciated aid bill that demonstrates strong bipartisan support for Israel and defends Western civilization. Thank you friends, thank you America!" Netanyahu said in a Tweet on X.

Could the Speaker get ousted?

Johnson's push to get the aid across the finish line has angered some of his conference's far-right members, causing a growing threat to his speakership.

A third Republican, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, announced Friday he was joining a looming motion to oust Johnson just after the aid bills advanced.

Georgia's Marjorie Taylor Greene introduced the motion last month, accusing Johnson of "standing with the Democrats" after he worked across the aisle to avoid a government shutdown.

After Johnson unveiled his plan to forge ahead on foreign aid, Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky became the second hard-liner to back Greene's cause. Massie called on Johnson to resign, a suggestion Johnson flatly rejected.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson talks to reporters just after lawmakers pushed a $95 billion national security aid package for Ukraine, Israel and other U.S. allies closer to passage, at the Capitol, April 19, 2024.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

All three lawmakers have expressed frustration on Johnson moving ahead with foreign aid without addressing immigration. Though earlier this year, a bipartisan border deal was produced by a group of senators but was quickly deemed dead on arrival by former President Donald Trump and Johnson.

"Our border cannot be an afterthought," Gosar said in a statement. "We need a Speaker who puts America first rather than bending to the reckless demands of the warmongers, neo-cons and the military industrial complex making billions from a costly and endless war half a world away."

Green did not move to oust the Speaker on Saturday before the House adjourned until April 29, although she claimed her coalition against Johnson is growing.

"I'm actually going to let my colleagues go home and hear from their constituents, because I think people have been too obsessed, with voting for foreign wars and the murder industry, here in America that actually understand how angry Americans are," Greene said Saturday.

Johnson said Friday that the bills are "not the perfect legislation" but are "the best possible product" under the circumstances.

It remains to be seen when, or if, the hard-liners force a vote on the motion to vacate the speaker's chair. If they do, Democrats would potentially need to step in to save Johnson's job.

Several Democrats told ABC News Saturday that they're open to saving Speaker Johnson -- if Greene makes good on her threat to call for a vote to oust him -- if Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries gave them the okay, or at minimum didn't oppose the move.

ABC News White House correspondent MaryAlice Parks asked the administration if President Joe Biden discussed that possibility with Speaker Johnson in their phone call earlier this week.

"We do not get involved when it comes to leadership in, whether it's the Senate or in the House," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded. "We're very mindful. That is something that the members, in this case the members in Congress, have to decide on."

ABC News' Jay O'Brien contributed to this report.