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February 13, 2024 | In The News

Florida Rep. Steube And Georgia Rep. Greene Rip Senate Foreign Aid Package “DOA”

TAMPA FREE PRESS —The U.S. Senate has approved a major foreign aid package, but its prospects in the House are uncertain. This bipartisan legislation, which includes aid for Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific region, has faced numerous hurdles and opposition.

The Senate vote, the stance of House Speaker Mike Johnson, and the potential consequences of inaction have become key talking points.

Florida Rep. Greg Steube blasted the bill Tuesday, saying on X, “The Senate foreign aid package isn’t America First. It’s not even America Last. America’s border security is nonexistent. Floridians are rightfully outraged at Washington’s focus on the largest single Ukraine aid package to date, while our own border is completely overrun. We must prioritize securing the Southern border, which has quickly become one of the top national security risks to our country. House leadership knows better than to bring this to the House floor. DOA.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia took to the House floor and ripped the bill to shreds, blasting the open southern border and Biden policy, saying, “When will Congress remember its duty is to serve the American people?”

“The Senate worked overtime, even during the Super Bowl, to send $95 billion to foreign wars while our border lies open and Americans suffer under $34 trillion in debt. When will Congress remember its duty is to serve the American people?” said Greene.

The Senate approved the $95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific region with a vote of 70 in favor to 29 opposed. This significant bipartisan effort propelled the long-delayed legislation over the finish line after an overnight session. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer hailed the passage of the bill, emphasizing the importance of American leadership and the commitment to national security.

However, the journey to approval was not without its challenges. Initially, the legislation faced opposition from Republicans who wanted to tie the aid to enhanced border security measures. When a bipartisan border security agreement was released but quickly rejected, Schumer made a push to proceed with the aid package without the border provisions. Despite further resistance from some Republicans and opposition speeches, enough moderate Republicans and Democrats came together to ensure the bill’s passage.

President Biden has urged the House to move forward with the foreign aid package “with urgency.” He emphasized the rising costs of inaction, particularly in Ukraine, where reports suggest that troops are running out of ammunition in their fight against Russia. The president made it clear that American leadership, alliances, and partnerships matter in standing against tyrants and safeguarding national security.

The prospects of the foreign aid package in the House have become uncertain due to the stance of House Speaker Mike Johnson. While previously noncommittal about a House vote on the bill, Johnson released a statement steeped in criticism about the aid package, suggesting that the House would not consider it. He asserted that the mandate of national security supplemental legislation was to secure America’s own border before sending additional foreign aid.

The calculus for Johnson, who assumed leadership in late October, is complicated. While there may be a group of House moderates ready to support the bill, conservatives are against additional aid for Ukraine, and some progressives may hold similar reservations about aid to Israel. House leaders’ attempt to approve standalone aid for Israel fell short, complicating the separation of Israel aid from the broader foreign aid package.

Schumer has called on Speaker Johnson to rise to the occasion and bring the bill to the floor. He highlighted the bipartisan support in the Senate and warned that killing the bill would be an enormous gift to Vladimir Putin. However, if Johnson decides not to bring the foreign aid package to the floor, Democrats and some moderate Republicans may explore a discharge petition as a way to force a vote. This maneuver, although challenging, could bypass GOP leadership and secure a vote on the package.

As the fate of the foreign aid package hangs in the balance, its future remains uncertain. The Senate’s approval is a significant step, but its prospects in the House are less promising due to the mixed opinions among House members.

The aid package’s fate hinges on Speaker Johnson’s decision and the potential for a discharge petition. The coming days will reveal whether the House will take up the Senate-passed bill or if alternative strategies will be pursued to secure its passage.