In a rare bipartisan move, Senate Republicans and Democrats worked together to push through a supplemental foreign aid bill that would send even more money (with virtually strings attached) to Ukraine.
While conservatives in the Senate blasted the bill, their hopes were on the House killing it before it could be brought up to a vote. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky gave a fiery speech on the floor about the issue on Monday afternoon.
This foreign aid bill threatens the fiscal solvency of our country. I think it, along with so much of the rest of the spending, is dragging America down and threatening a day of destruction. The filibuster continues tonight! pic.twitter.com/UG9DqIVhYN
— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 12, 2024
The bill has not formally passed the Senate, but it’s already dead in the House.
In a statement released on Monday night, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) announced that the bill would not be taken up in his chamber, and that the House would instead “have to continue to work its own” regarding what conservatives see as the bigger issue – the southern border.
“House Republicans were crystal clear from the very beginning of discussions that any so-called national security supplemental legislation must recognize that national security begins at our own border,” Johnson said in his statement. “The House acted ten months ago to help enact transformative policy change by passing the Secure Our Border Act, and since then, including today, the Senate has failed to meet the moment.”
“The Senate did the right thing last week by rejecting the Ukraine-Taiwan-Gaza-Israel-Immigration legislation due to its insufficient border provisions, and it should have gone back to the drawing board to amend the current bill to include real border security provisions that would actually help end the ongoing catastrophe,” he continued. “Instead, the Senate’s foreign aid bill is silent on the most pressing issue facing our country.”
As of now, House Republicans are set on focusing on the crisis at the border instead of foreign aid, arguing that securing the U.S. border is more important than U.S. funds securing the borders of other nations.
“The mandate of national security supplemental legislation was to secure America’s own border before sending additional foreign aid around the world. It is what the American people demand and deserve,” Johnson said. “Now, in the absence of having received any single border policy change from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own will on these important matters. America deserves better than the Senate’s status quo.”
My statement on Senate’s failure to address the most critical aspect of national security supplemental legislation: pic.twitter.com/ENjJ0WzKsK
— Speaker Mike Johnson (@SpeakerJohnson) February 13, 2024
The announcement effectively kills the Senate supplemental bill before it even reaches the House floor. The bill has overcome procedural hurdles in the Senate, but as of Monday evening some Republican senators were fighting hard against the bill’s passage. Johnson’s statement guarantees that, even if it passes the Senate, it wouldn’t advance anywhere in the House.