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House lawmakers unveil $66B foreign aid, border supplemental

Measure excludes Senate bill’s $10 billion for humanitarian aid while lopping off some $13 billion in nondefense funding for Ukraine

“The provisions in this bipartisan proposal are only active for one year because it’s not meant to be the ultimate fix,” says Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer, a sponsor of the bill, about border provisions.
“The provisions in this bipartisan proposal are only active for one year because it’s not meant to be the ultimate fix,” says Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer, a sponsor of the bill, about border provisions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers released a $66.3 billion foreign aid and border package Friday that backers hope will be an alternative to the Senate-passed national security supplemental. 

The newly unveiled legislation includes military-only assistance for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan — a departure from the $95.3 billion bill championed by senators that also has money designated for humanitarian and economic support. 

The House bill excludes the Senate bill’s $10 billion designation for humanitarian aid while lopping off some $13 billion in nondefense funding for Ukraine in its ongoing efforts to repel Russian forces. Israel aid, which was set at more than $14 billion in the Senate plan, also saw a reduction under the House proposal. 

Those omissions mean that topline aid for Kyiv is $47.7 billion under the House legislation, while Israel would see $10.4 billion, the Indo-Pacific region would get $4.9 billion and an additional $2.4 billion would be designated for supporting U.S. Central Command operations, including funding to offset efforts to deter Houthi militant attacks in the Red Sea. 

The House measure would, for one year, reinstate the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy, requiring migrants seeking asylum to wait in Mexico while their claims are adjudicated. It would also, for one year, allow the secretary of Homeland Security to suspend the entry of migrants if necessary to achieve “operational control” of the U.S.-Mexico border. 

The measure would require immigration officers to either detain or expel migrants deemed “inadmissible” without hearing or review, with certain exceptions. 

“The provisions in this bipartisan proposal are only active for one year because it’s not meant to be the ultimate fix — it’s a much-needed, long-overdue patch that will help secure the border while simultaneously supporting our friends and allies around the world,” said Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer, R-Ore., a sponsor of the bill. 

Chavez-DeRemer was joined by Republican colleagues Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Don Bacon of Nebraska and Mike Lawler of New York in introducing the bill. 

The Democratic sponsors are Jared Golden of Maine, Ed Case of Hawaii, Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez of Washington and Jim Costa of California. 

The bill’s release comes as House lawmakers grow increasingly pessimistic about the chances of the House passing the Senate-passed supplemental bill. Although some pro-Ukraine Republicans have signaled their openness to amending the measure or splitting it up into parts, Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has said he won’t consider national security provisions without border security language. 

Bacon told reporters during a virtual news conference on Friday that he had briefed Johnson’s staff on the bill Thursday, and he said they were “optimistic about it” because it presents a “more fiscally responsible” alternative to the Senate bill while focusing on military aid and addressing the border. 

But Bacon said he hopes to talk directly to Johnson about it — potentially as soon as this weekend. 

“We owe the speaker a chance to be a champion of this,” he said. “Some people just assume he won’t be, and I’m not going to make that assumption. But I think, depending on how he responds will drive our strategy, how we want to get this bill on the floor.” 

After months of negotiations, Senate Republicans rejected a bipartisan immigration plan, and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., elected to move the foreign aid forward without any border security language. 

But many Republicans remain implacably opposed to aiding Ukraine without first changing immigration policies to stem record-high migration at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The House bill released Friday is an effort to address those worries. 

“We must secure our border and we must deter foreign aggression,” Lawler said. “It’s not an either-or.”

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