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In an unusual vote, Democrats save the measure to allow a vote on the Ukraine bill

In an unusual vote, Democrats save the measure to allow a vote on the Ukraine bill

House Republicans took a decisive step late Thursday night toward bringing up a long-stalled foreign aid bill to Ukraine and Israel, after having to rely on Democratic votes to move a plan for consideration out of key committee and onto the table.

The 9-3 vote in the crucial Rules Committee was an early step in the complex process the House is expected to go through over the next two days to approve the $95 billion aid package. This reflects the extent of the far-right's anger at House Speaker Mike Johnson's plan to move forward with the legislation despite opposition from conservative Republicans, and highlights the extent to which the Speaker of Parliament is forced to rely on Democrats to push him across the finish line.

In a fit of anger, three far-right Republicans on the committee, which controls the legislation that goes before the House, refused to support the rule necessary to advance the foreign aid bill, putting it on track to die in committee. But Democrats on the committee stepped in to save her, in an unusual violation of norms.

All Democrats voted to push the plan out of committee.

The Rules Committee has traditionally been a body of the Speaker, and legislation is usually brought to the House by a straight party vote.

Democrats will almost certainly have to provide votes on the House floor to approve the rule and allow the aid package to be rolled out, offering their support in another unconventional vote in the face of Republican opposition.

The rule is crucial to Johnson's plan to push the foreign aid package through the House, because it would allow two separate votes on aid to Israel and aid to Ukraine, which are supported by different coalitions, but would then merge them together without the need for lawmakers. ever to cast an up or down vote on the entire bill.

See also  Putin hosts Kremlin ceremony to annex parts of Ukraine

A group of far-right lawmakers who sought to block the committee's measure won their seats on the Rules Committee as part of a concession made last year by then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who had to bargain with hardline conservatives who opposed his election. to the top position and agreed to support him only after he gave them decisive influence. They refused to support the measure to introduce the foreign aid package because it would not allow a vote on tough border security provisions that they said should take priority over aid to Ukraine.

That was a marked act of rebellion, leaving Democrats to bail out the speaker and push the measure through committee.

Johnson said earlier that he expected the House of Representatives to vote to pass the aid package on Saturday.

“I would rather send bullets to Ukraine than American boys,” he said in an interview with Newsmax on Thursday night. “We don’t want to have boots on the ground, and we can prevent that by letting them keep Putin away.”