Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

Bipartisan House Group Releases $66 Billion Foreign Aid Bill

After Donald Trump ordered the Republican senators not to support a bill that provided aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan and also beefed up border security, 22 Republican senators banded together with 48 Democratic senators to pass a bill that contained only the foreign aid, but not money for the border. When the bill arrived in the House, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said he wouldn't bring it up for a vote because there was no money in it for the border. This was entirely in bad faith because if he had really supported the original Senate bill he would have told the representatives to pass it.

A bunch of Republican representatives are now calling Johnson's bluff. The group, led by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), one of the Biden 17, has written a new bill that has $66 billion for aid to the three countries and also money for the border, just as Johnson requested. They are essentially daring Johnson to kill it after saying he would have held a vote on the Senate bill if it only had money for the border. Now he's got one that has. It is not as much as Joe Biden wanted, but Ukraine is desperate for ammo now and $48 billion will buy a fair number of bullets.

The new bill would also reinstate the Trump era policy of requiring asylum seekers to remain in Mexico until a judge could hear their case, something that often takes years due to the backlog. It would also empower immigration officers to detain or expel migrants deemed "inadmissible" without a hearing. These are provisions that may cause Trumpy Republicans to think twice about voting "No." The ads that primary opponents could make out of a "No" vote could be brutal. It is not a sure thing that this bill could pass either chamber. Republicans want tougher measures on the border and Democrats don't like the "remain in Mexico" part. But there are also some items in there that both parties like.

Trump hasn't taken a stand on it yet, but if he orders Johnson to kill the bill, Johnson would probably comply. Then what? A motion to vacate the chair introduced by a Democrat as a result of Johnson being a total hypocrite? Anything is possible. (V)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates