Kevin McCarthy said Friday that he planned to eliminate about $300 million from the Pentagon funding bill, allocating it exclusively to aid to Ukraine. About 24 hours later, the House Speaker backtracked and announced he would keep the money in the legislation.
After opposition from several conservatives in his party, in effect not allowing the legislation to reach the full House, McCarthy said he would withdraw aid to Ukraine from the text. However, he realized the difficulties that would entail. "It became too difficult to do that so we're leaving it in," he said on Saturday.
"That’s not solving it because one of the others has some Ukraine things. So it became too difficult to do that so we’re leaving it in," he added.
Eliminating the aid could have caused Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to vote in favor, something that now appears very difficult to achieve. “I think she’ll vote ‘no’ on the rule. That’s why I was trying to solve it, where everybody could be there. But this one, it didn’t work out," McCarthy said.
The Pentagon funding project will then include the $300 million for Ukraine. Money that will go toward "to provide assistance, including training; equipment; lethal assistance; logistics support, supplies and services; salaries and stipends; sustainment; and intelligence support to the military and national security forces of Ukraine, and to other forces or groups recognized by and under the authority of the Government of Ukraine, including governmental entities within Ukraine, engaged in resisting Russian aggression against Ukraine, for replacement of any weapons or articles provided to the Government of Ukraine from the inventory of the United States".
House Republicans will vote Tuesday to begin debate on four different funding bills: Defense, State, Homeland Security and a farm bill.
The defense bill did not reach the full House
Amid negotiations among Republicans over whether to support the leadership's proposal to avoid a government shutdown, legislation to fund the Pentagon failed to advance to the House floor. On Tuesday, September 19, legislators attended the procedural vote, which defines whether or not the proposal advances to the full House to be formally discussed. Once all the votes were counted, the proposal was rejected with 214 legislators against and 212 in favor.
The vote failed for the GOP after five Republican congressmen joined all Democrats and voted against it. If passed, it would have opened debate on the $886 billion appropriations bill.
The five Republicans who voted against the leadership bill were Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Matt Ronsendale (R-MT), Ken Buch (R-CO) and Dan Bishop (R-NC ).