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The House recently approved foreign aid bills that would send funds to Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific region after being stalled by Republican infighting. The bills mirror an earlier package passed by the Senate and were broken up into separate bills by Speaker Mike Johnson to appease his conference. These bills include funding for Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific region, as well as other GOP-backed foreign policy priorities like seizing frozen Russian assets and potential bans on TikTok. While all bills passed the House on a bipartisan basis, the Ukraine bill was the most contentious due to decreasing U.S. support for Kyiv among House GOP ranks.

The Israel bill also faced challenges from progressive Democrats who called for conditioning aid on the country’s conduct in Gaza. The bill providing over $26 billion in Israel funding and humanitarian assistance was approved by a vote of 366-58. Aid to the Indo-Pacific region aimed at deterring China was less controversial, with about $8 billion approved by a vote of 385-34. A sweetener bill that included various GOP foreign policy priorities also passed by a vote of 360-58. The final package of all four bills will be sent to the Senate for approval, where it is expected to pass, and President Joe Biden has pledged to sign it promptly.

The approval of the foreign aid package came after months of delay and indecision by Speaker Johnson, who initially sided with ultraconservative lawmakers in linking foreign aid to changes in border and immigration policy. However, Johnson later shifted his views, emphasizing the importance of supporting allies like Ukraine. Despite facing opposition and a potential challenge to his speakership from conservative Republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Johnson remained committed to doing what he believed was right, even if it meant personal risk to his job.

The Senate had previously crafted a foreign aid package that included changes in border and immigration policy, but it was ultimately stripped of these provisions at the behest of former President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans. Senate leaders urged Johnson to pass the deal, but he opted to break it into separate bills to secure Republican support. Despite efforts to offer a peace offering in the form of a bill addressing the southern border, the speaker faces uncertainty in the House as lawmakers leave for a recess, with a potential political fight for his leadership position looming upon their return. Johnson’s willingness to prioritize foreign aid over personal political considerations sets the stage for a contentious battle within the Republican Party.

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