April 23, 2024


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House GOP blame game erupts after Johnson forces through $95B Ukraine, Israel aid plan

Frustrated House Republicans are trading barbs with their own colleagues after the passage of a $95 billion foreign aid bill with funding for Ukraine and Israel.

Different factions of the House Republican Conference feuded over the weekend after the House passed four foreign aid bills via a simple majority vote, while a separate border security bill that needed two-thirds supermajority of the chamber failed to reach that threshold.

‘[T]he only reason the supermajority procedure was required was that a handful of self-destroying Republicans joined with all Democrats to oppose the Rule which would have allowed it to pass with a simple majority,’ Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., wrote on X. ‘Those so called Republicans killed border security before Schumer could!’

House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, shot back, ‘Those who wanted to force a Senate vote on border security were betrayed by the surrender of leverage, not by opposition to the rule.’

‘If the speaker wanted to keep his own promises on border security, he would have attached border security to the rule. Those opposed would have been forced to accept it, or oppose the rule,’ Davidson responded.

A rule vote is a procedural hurdle that sets terms for debate and a final vote on one or several pieces of legislation. It’s decided by a majority in the House Rules Committee, which is the last test for bills before they reach the House floor.

Conservative foreign aid skeptics were outraged at the decision by Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., last week to advance his four foreign aid bills under one rule vote and a fifth border security bill under a separate rule, arguing that it left Republicans with no leverage to force the Senate to take it up. 

In protest, three of those skeptics joined all Democrats in killing the bill in the Rules Committee, which forced Johnson to bring the bill up for a vote by forgoing the procedural hurdle in exchange for raising the threshold for passage to two-thirds instead of a simple majority.

Predictably, the bill failed with no Democrats backing the measure.

Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., took a veiled shot at GOP rebels after the Saturday vote, accusing them of throwing up roadblocks for media attention, ‘Sadly we have some egos outpacing intellects. Could they survive a day [without] a microphone or camera in front of them? We are here TO GOVERN not play to the press.’

On the other side of the argument, Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, one of the three Rules Committee Republicans who blocked the border bill from getting a simple majority vote on the House floor, accused GOP leaders of putting it up for ‘cover.’

‘Ukraine issues aside, our take down of the SEPARATE border… rule – they needed desperately to pass as cover – has enraged them [because] they now can’t easily lie that border was attached in a package,’ Roy wrote on X in an unrelated post.

Meanwhile, Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., piled on Barr’s earlier post, ‘After each sellout, once the fury of Republican voters sets in, the self-serving lies begin. Leadership NEVER proposed to attach ANY border security measure to this Ukraine package. They set up a separate, cosmetic vote to give cover that the Senate would have been free to ignore. The Rules Committee conservatives killed that separate rule.’

But even Johnson himself dismissed arguments that he was in a position to force border security measures through the Democrat-controlled Senate and White House, telling FOX Business’ Larry Kudlow days before the vote, ‘Some of my colleagues want the speaker of the House to have a magic wand. If we could close the border ourselves, we would have done it a long time ago.’

The infighting is not a new phenomenon in the House, but it illustrates the exceptional divides in Johnson’s GOP Conference.

House lawmakers are back in their home districts this week, but when they return, GOP leaders will be grappling with just a one-seat majority after the early departure of Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis.

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS