On Thursday evening, the House overwhelmingly approved $300 million in new aid to Ukraine.
The vote passed 311-117 after Republican leaders in the House of Representatives withdrew aid to Ukraine from a Pentagon funding bill on Wednesday. All the “no” votes came from Republicans.
Although it has enjoyed widespread support, its funding has been a source of controversy in the past week.
The $300 million was initially included in legislation funding the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2024, which drew opposition from more hardline Republicans.
Chairman Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters last week that he would remove the $300 million from the defense bill and hold a separate vote on funding after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-C. Georgia) joined a group of conservatives in California. failing a procedural vote to advance the Pentagon measure.
But the president reversed course a day later, announcing that he would not separate aid to Ukraine from the defense bill, after realizing that the appropriations to fund the State Department also included help to Kiev. He said it would be “too difficult” to remove aid to Ukraine from the State Department’s legislation and that ultimately both would remain as they are.
The House went ahead and adopted a combined rule – which governs debate on the legislation – for the two measures and two other appropriations bills. Greene was the only one to vote “no.”
An amendment sponsored by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) that would remove the $300 million from the legislation was defeated Wednesday by a vote of 104 to 330, with full support from Republicans.
House Republicans also rejected by 93 votes to 339 an amendment from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) to ban security assistance to Ukraine.
But on Wednesday evening, amid uncertainty over whether the legislation had enough support to pass, the House Rules Committee called a last-minute hearing to remove the $300 billion from the Pentagon bill and hold a separate vote on financing.
Support for Ukraine in its battle against Russia has become a hot topic at the House Republican conference, with some lawmakers pushing to cut aid to Kiev and others saying the United States must support their ally in difficulty.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the Capitol and met with lawmakers last week. McCarthy told reporters that Zelensky asked to speak at a joint session but declined because “we just didn’t have time.”
Suggest a correction