GOP Works On Alternative To Aid Bill

Republicans in the House of Representatives say they are drafting a new bill to replace those passed in the Senate but rejected by the House GOP. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania said he is collaborating with colleagues to produce legislation addressing foreign aid and the porous US southern border.

Speaking on February 14, Rep. Fitzpatrick did not name the colleagues but said the legislation was almost complete and would be presented initially to House Speaker Mike Johnson for his approval.

The news comes as Mr. Johnson hints that he will not allow the latest foreign aid bill, passed in the Senate, to face a vote in the House. It was the second attempt by lawmakers to approve legislation aimed at providing billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine, Israel, and other foreign countries.

The first attempt, which became known as the “border bill,” contained foreign aid pledges and measures to address the southern border, which has seen record migrant crossings under the Biden administration.

Ukraine aid is proving divisive in the GOP, with senior Republican Mitch McConnell placing pressure on his House colleagues to increase funding for Ukraine’s war against Russia. Donald Trump, however, was furious and said the legislation did not protect the border but allowed Democrats to claim political victory on the issue just in time for the Presidential election in November.

The second legislative attempt, also passed in the Senate and encouraged by Mitch McConnell, gives $60 billion to Ukraine, $14 billion to Israel, $9 for humanitarian assistance in war zones, and almost $5 billion for Taiwan’s defenses against China. Republicans indicate they will not back it, so it will likely fail, despite pleas from President Biden, who told lawmakers that “history is watching.” Similarly, Chuck Schumer, leader of Senate Democrats, pleaded with House members to “get the job done.”

Rep. Fitzpatrick provided little detail on the drafted legislation but did hint that it would not contain humanitarian assistance funding for Gaza.