House Republicans are doing the unthinkable. In what some experts are calling an ‘incredibly rare’ move, five of eight GOP members voted alongside four Democrats to approve a rule that would send the much-anticipated $95 billion foreign aid package to the House floor. Here’s a look at how it all went down!

Foreign Aid Bill Passed Senate In February

The foreign aid package overwhelmingly passed the Senate in February, and it did so with bipartisan support. They voted 70-29 in favor of sending more than $95 billion to Ukraine, Israel, and other parts of the world. 

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22 of those who voted for the package were Republicans, and one of them was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “History settles every account,” said McConnell. “And today, on the value of American leadership and strength, history will record that the Senate did not blink.”

House Republicans Want To Fix Border First

Republicans in the House of Representatives opposed the package long before it passed the Senate—primarily because they wanted to address the US-Mexico border issue first. At least, that’s what Speaker of the House Mike Johnson said in February. 

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“The mandate of national security supplemental legislation was to secure America’s own border before sending additional foreign aid around the world,” he wrote in a statement, despite Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer calling on him to ‘do the right thing’ and bring it to a vote.

House Passes Rule To Bring Package To A Vote

That brings us to the news that unfolded late Thursday (April 18) night. In a critical vote that included eight Republicans and four Democrats, a House rules committee voted 9-3 in favor of bringing the foreign aid package to the House floor. 

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While the three who voted against it were Republicans, five other Republicans, including all four Democrats, voted for it. Now, the bill will move out of the committee and into a House-wide vote, which is expected to take place this weekend. 

Mike Johnson Splitting Package Into Four Parts

While the foreign aid package being brought to the House floor carries a lot of the same messaging as the one passed by the Senate in February, it’s different in one key way. 

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Instead of voting on the package as a whole, Johnson is splitting it up into four parts. The House will vote on each part individually and then combine them into one amendment, which would be sent to the Senate if passed. 

4. $26.4 Billion to Israel

Iran launched an attack on Israel amid their ongoing conflict in Gaza, leading many to urge the US to send help. The foreign aid bill would send more than $26 billion to Israel to ‘defend itself against Iran and its proxies.’ 

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$14 billion would go directly to Israel, with $4 billion of that to replenish the Iron Dome and David’s Sling missile defense systems, $1.2 billion to replenish the Iron Beam defense system, and a bounty of weapons to further defend itself. 

3. $60.8 Billion to Ukraine

Ukraine continues to defend itself from Vladimir Putin’s vicious attack, but the situation on the ground has become dire in recent months. According to Ukraine, the two things they need most right now are ‘a resupply of artillery rounds and air defense missiles.’ 

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The foreign aid package would send them that as part of nearly $61 billion of assistance – some of which would be treated like a loan. $14 billion of that amount would be used to buy advanced weapons systems and defense equipment. 

2. $8 Billion for Indo-Pacific Security

The package would also send $8 billion to Indo-Pacific countries to ‘counter communist China and ensure a strong deterrence in the region.’ Half of that money would go to Taiwan for foreign military financing and replenishing defense services.

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Another $3 billion is dedicated to developing submarine infrastructure to further help defend Taiwan against a possible attack. 

1. TikTok Ban and Other Sanctions

The fourth and final part of the foreign aid package would impose sanctions against Russia, Iran, China, as well as force TikTok into parting ways with its Chinese parent company ByteDance. If not, then they would risk being banned. 

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“I’m very happy that Speaker Johnson and House leaders incorporated my recommendation to extend the Byte Dance divestment period from six months to a year,” Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) said in a statement on Wednesday.

Johnson Says He’s Doing The Right Thing

Johnson angered the MAGA army for going against his initial promise not to send more money to Ukraine, but he ultimately decided to do what he felt was right – even if it meant going against his party’s agenda. 

Source: Wikimedia/Office of Congressman Mike Johnson

“We have to do the right thing. And I’m going to allow an opportunity for every single member of the House to vote their conscience and their will on this, and I think that’s the way this institution is supposed to work,” Johnson said after the vote. Here’s a look at the four parts of the bill: 

Lisa Desjardins Calls It ‘Incredibly Rare’

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, PBS NewsHour journalist Lisa Desjardins called the motion to send the package to the House floor ‘incredibly rare.’ She also touted Speaker Johnson for risking his job to do what he felt was right. 

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“In case you haven’t seen – this was a very big decision by Johnson. What it means and if he can survive under current threshhold is still unclear,” she wrote. “It may seem paradoxical but keeping himself easier to remove may have temporarily helped Johnson stay in the job.”

House Freedom Caucus Strongly Opposes Rule

As was expected, the House Freedom Caucus – a congressional caucus consisting of Republican members of the United States House of Representatives – blasted Mike Johnson and those who voted to support the foreign aid. 

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“The House Freedom Caucus will vote NO on rule for the ‘America Last’ foreign wars supplemental package with zero border security, and urge all House Republicans to do the same,” the group said in a statement posted on X.

Mike Johnson Putting His Job At Risk

What Speaker Johnson is doing right now isn’t just incredibly rare, it’s unheard of – especially given the many Republicans who have threatened to remove him from his position if he were to go through with this. 

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And here he is – going through with it. What that means for his future is unclear. He might lose his job, but his recent decision very well could’ve helped him save his job. Only time will tell what happens from this point forward.