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Democrats Defy GOP Opposition on Foreign Aid Package Procedural Vote

Late on Thursday night, the House Rules Committee made a significant move by advancing a package of foreign aid bills, despite opposition from a trio of hardline Republicans. 

Democrats supported the procedural vote, which was an unusual turn of events and allowed the full House to open debate on the legislation.

The committee adopted the rule governing debate for the foreign aid bills with a vote of 9-3, with Reps. Thomas Massie, Chip Roy, and Ralph Norman opposing the effort. 

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Typically, rule votes are along party lines, but conservatives voted against the rule due to objections over Ukraine aid and the exclusion of border security measures.

With the successful vote, the full House can now vote on the rule and open debate on three foreign aid bills, including assistance to Israel, Ukraine, and allies in the Indo-Pacific, along with a fourth bill covering other national security priorities, such as a TikTok ban.

The rule permits votes on specific amendments to the Ukraine, Indo-Pacific, and national security measures. 

However, there will be no amendments considered for the Israel bill. 

Additionally, if the House approves each of the four bills, they will be combined and sent to the Senate as one package.

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Speaker Mike Johnson unveiled the foreign aid package earlier in the week, which has faced intense criticism from hardline Republicans. 

The package includes significant allocations for Israel, Ukraine, and Indo-Pacific allies, along with provisions addressing national security concerns.

Despite the bipartisan support for the procedural vote, there may be further backlash from conservatives for Johnson’s willingness to collaborate with Democrats. 

This dynamic has become necessary in the narrowly divided House but continues to provoke tensions within the GOP.

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To address concerns from hardliners, House GOP leadership has scheduled a vote on a separate border bill aimed at addressing issues at the southern border. 

The bill will be considered under the suspension of the rules process on Friday, requiring two-thirds support for passage.

Initially, leadership attempted to move the border bill through regular order, but opposition from conservatives on the Rules Committee derailed those plans. 

The developments highlight ongoing divisions within the Republican Party over key legislative priorities.