House passes $95 billion foreign war bill – ScheerPost

By Will Porter /

US lawmakers have passed a series of bills containing some $95 billion in military aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, and are also approving a bill that will allow Washington to hand over Kiev assets seized from Russia and paving the way for a ban on TikTok.

The aid bills were passed by a wide margin after separate votes on Saturday afternoon, with Ukraine’s $61 billion legislation approved by a vote of 311 to 112. Although a slim majority of Republicans opposed the bill — accounting for all 112 “no” votes, with one Republican representative voting “present” — it ultimately passed with bipartisan support.

Another measure authorizing $26 billion in military aid to Israel easily passed the House on a vote of 366 to 58, with only 21 Republicans and 37 Democrats in opposition. An $8 billion aid bill for Taiwan and other U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific also passed by a vote of 385 to 34, including language allowing the White House to funnel additional money to Ukraine.

Although the aid was originally packaged into one bill by the Senate, House Speaker Mike Johnson refused to introduce the measure unless Democrats agreed to sweeping immigration reform. However, after months of gridlock, Johnson divided the legislation into three separate relief bills and later added a fourth with several unrelated provisions, allowing them to move to the floor. The immigration provisions were left out of the four bills, and the speaker advanced a separate bill on immigration aimed at suspending the rules. That suspension of the rules quickly backfired, meaning no debate about immigration or the U.S. border took place.

This last bill also passed overwhelmingly with a vote of 360 to 58. Dubbed the “21st Century Peace through Strength Act,” the bill will allow the White House to impose new sanctions on Russia and Iran and ban Chinese video-sharing platform TikTok unless its parent company, ByteDance, divests its foreign operations . ownership interests. The same bill also allows the transfer of frozen Russian assets to Kiev, after Washington chose to seize Moscow’s US-based funds in response to its 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Libertarian-leaning Representative Thomas Massie, who rejected all four bills, condemned Speaker Johnson after Saturday’s hearing: proverb he “shared the chairmanship of the Republican Party with the Democrats,” while suggesting he had conspired with the rival party to ram through aid to Ukraine.

“To increase Ukrainian spending before a vote, he made a deal with Democrats on the procedural vote. He then passed the bill today with every Democrat voting YES and a majority of Republicans voting NO,” Massie wrote on X.

Friday the Republican from Kentucky said Johnson had sold out to the Beltway “swamp,” adding that the speaker “must resign” before agreeing to “send $100 billion to wars around the world.”

While Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene proposed an amendment that would have reduced the Ukraine bill’s funding to zero, it received only 71 votes in favor and did not pass. Green too blasted The Speaker of the House of Representatives after the vote called Johnson “a traitor to our country” who allowed Congress to “send Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars to fuel a foreign war.”

Greene has threatened to remove Johnson from the presidency if he continues to ignore Republican Party concerns around immigration, spending and mass surveillance, among other issues, by filing a “motion to vacate” that has yet to be voted on. Massie, along with fellow Republican Reps. Paul Gosar and Eli Crane, have expressed support for the move.

President Joe Biden applauded the passage of the relief bills later on Saturday, claiming the House “voted to advance our national security interests.” Biden’s comments were echoed by his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, who thanked US lawmakers who supported the legislation and slammed Speaker Johnson for allowing the “vital” relief bill to be discussed.

Once all four pieces of legislation are passed, they will go to the Senate as one bill. The Senate previously passed a similar measure, indicating there will be little opposition from senators.

Share this story and help us grow our network!

You can also donate to our PayPal or subscribe to our Patreon.

Will Porter

Will Porter is an assistant news editor at the Libertarian Institute and a regular contributor to Find more of his work on Consortium News and ZeroHedge.