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House passes $95.3 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan

John M. Donnelly and David Lerman, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in News & Features

Democrats waved Ukrainian flags in the chamber as the vote took place and erupted with applause on passage, drawing a scolding from the chair for not maintaining decorum.

Israel, Gaza aid debate

Under the rule for floor debate, there were no amendments allowed on the Israel aid bill.

A few critics came to the floor to discuss it however, such as Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., who took issue with the nearly $9.2 billion in humanitarian aid that he said would be delivered to Palestinians in Gaza.

“Why would we knowingly be sending money into the hands of Hamas in any bill?” Clyde said during debate.

Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, countered that he received information from the Biden administration on its intent for that piece of the package, which is not specified in the text of the bill. The administration told Sherman that in addition to aiding Gazans, the money would also be distributed to assist with humanitarian crises in Haiti, Sudan, Ethiopia, Congo, Armenia and Myanmar.

“This bill will save hundreds of thousands, I believe millions of lives,” Sherman said.

The Israel package includes nearly $10 billion for developing or producing U.S. or Israeli-made weapons, including anti-missile and anti-rocket systems, as well as billions of dollars more to replenish U.S. stocks that have been drawn down to help Israel and to bankroll U.S. military operations in the region.

 

On the left, Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., expressed concern over Israel’s conduct of the war under the Netanyahu government. “If he’s not listening to us on matters of international security, how can he be trusted with more offensive weapons?” Pocan said.

On final passage of the Israel-focused bill, 37 Democrats and 21 Republicans opposed it.

The $8.1 billion Indo-Pacific bill, meanwhile, would include nearly $4 billion in security assistance to Taiwan and other regional allies, along with $1.9 billion to replenish U.S. stocks that have been reduced to help Asian allies, plus $3.3 billion for submarine infrastructure and more. One amendment adopted during debate would express support for ensuring security assistance in the bill gets to the Philippines.

On the separate miscellaneous package of sanctions and other related measures, two amendments were adopted.

One amendment, by Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., adopted by voice vote, would mandate new details in the Pentagon’s annual report on China’s military power.

The other is from Rep. Zach Nunn, R-Iowa, who faces a potentially tight reelection battle this fall. Nunn’s amendment would require the Treasury Department to provide Congress information about the wealth of government officials and others in Iran who are under U.S. sanctions. The vote was 249-167 on the amendment from Nunn, whose race Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates Tilt Republican.


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