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Tags: mike johnson | house | senate | blank | check

Speaker Johnson: Senate Sent 'Blank Check' on Foreign Aid

By    |   Friday, 19 April 2024 01:40 PM EDT

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said the House is using a better process than the Senate by breaking up the foreign aid package.

"The Senate sent us effectively a blank check for foreign aid, and that was not going to work for the policy or the process in the House," he said. "It is a better process to break the bills up into four separate measures for consideration, and that is what we will have tomorrow.

"Everyone can vote their will and their constituent's desires on Israel aid, the Ukrainian aid, the Indo-Pacific, and our fourth national security package that has all of the innovations in it.

The House voted 316-94 on a procedural rule to allow amendments and debate on the national security supplemental.

Johnson said: "Because we did this process, we got a better outcome. There are a lot of innovations that the Senate didn't consider. We include the REPO Act, which, as you know, is the use of corrupt Russian oligarchs' assets to help fund the resistance in Ukraine.

"We introduced the loan concept for the governmental assistance part to be provided a loan, instead of a gift. We also included some really important sanctions on Russia and China and Iran, which I believe is the new axis of evil, and many of us do. They are the ones who are the aggressors in this situation."

Friday's vote produced a seldom-seen outcome in the typically hyperpartisan House, with Democrats helping Johnson's plan advance overwhelmingly," The Associated Press reported.

Final House approval could come this weekend, when the package would be sent to the Senate.

It was a victory for the strategy Johnson set in motion this week after he agonized for two months over the legislation. Still, Johnson has had to spend the past 24 hours making the rounds on conservative media working to salvage support for the wartime funding, particularly for Ukraine as it faces a critical moment battling Russia, but also for his own job as the restless right flank threatens to oust him over the effort.

"The reality here is that if the House did not do this better policy and process, allowing for amendments on the floor in the process tomorrow, we would have had to eat the Senate supplemental bill," Johnson said. "And that is because we were very close, given the timeline of both Israel and Ukraine, to a discharge petition being brought.

"A discharge petition, in layman's terms, is when a number of members or a majority of members get together, they can override the speaker and bring something straight to the floor. That would have happened imminently on the Senate supplemental.

"So, by doing this, even though it's not the perfect legislation, it's not the legislation that we would write if Republicans were in charge of both the House, the Senate, and the White House, this is the best possible product that we can get under these circumstances to take care of these really important obligations. And so, we look forward to the vote tomorrow.

"We look forward to every member voting their conscience and their desire. And that is exactly how this process is supposed to work and how the House is supposed to operate."

Jeffrey Rodack

Jeffrey Rodack, who has nearly a half century in news as a senior editor and city editor for national and local publications, has covered politics for Newsmax for nearly seven years.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said the House is using a better process than the Senate by breaking up the foreign aid package.
mike johnson, house, senate, blank, check
Friday, 19 April 2024 01:40 PM
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