A Ukrainian soldier waits for orders in his fighting position near Bakhmut as the war between Russia and Ukraine continues in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on February 12, 2024. (Photo by Jose Colon/Anadolu via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The House approved $95 billion in supplemental defense spending today in three largely bipartisan votes, a huge win for Defense Department leaders who have sought for months to obtain additional funds to aid Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, as well as to replenish US stockpiles. 

The passage puts a cap on a tumultuous week on Capitol Hill, which saw House Speaker Mike Johnson essentially break the Senate’s $95 billion supplemental into three separate measures for Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific, in the hopes of circumventing far-right GOP members who oppose further funds to Ukraine. 

The Ukraine bill passed in a 311-112 vote, the Israel bill passed in a 366-58 vote, and the Indo-Pacific bill passed in a 385-34 vote.

As expected, the Ukraine bill proved to be the most hotly contested of the aid measures, carried by 210 Democrat votes, with Republican votes split 101 in favor versus 112 against. Upon the completion of the vote, Democrats waved mini Ukrainian flags on the House floor, cheering and chanting for Ukraine before being told by the speaker pro tempore that the waving of flags was against decorum.

Johnson has indicated that all approved supplemental bills will be combined into a single measure before being sent to the Senate, which will need to take up the House version despite passing a similar bill in February.

President Joe Biden has endorsed the House supplemental, bolstering chances for smooth passage in the Democrat-controlled upper chamber. During a speech on the Senate floor earlier today, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said there was a “tentative agreement” to take up the supplemental if the House clears the bills, with a vote in the Senate projected for “early afternoon” on Tuesday.

The Ukraine, Israel and Indo-Pacific supplemental bills, collectively worth $95.3 billion, include: 

$60.8 billion for the Ukraine Security Supplemental, including: $13.4 billion to replenish US stockpiles, $13.9 billion for the procurement of defense technology, $13.7 billion to buy additional defense materiel for Ukraine, $7.3 billion for US operations in Europe and $26 billion on oversight of Ukraine aid
$26.4 billion for the Israel Security Supplemental, including: $4 billion for Iron Dome and David’s Sling, $1.2 billion for Iron Beam, $3.5 billion in Foreign Military Financing for Israel, $4.4 billion to replenish US stocks, and $9 billion in humanitarian aid
$8.1 billion for the Indo-Pacific Security Supplemental, including: $3.3 billion for the submarine industrial base, $2 billion for support to Taiwan and $1.9 billion to replenish stocks given to Taiwan. Funds for the submarine industrial base would add $1.9 billion for advanced procurement of the Columbia-class submarine and $200 million in advance procurement for the Virginia-class submarine

The biggest difference between the House and Senate packages was the addition of a fourth supplemental bill spearheaded by Johnson, which would ban TikTok in the United States unless its Chinese owners divest from the social media app. It would also transfer $5 billion in repossessed Russian assets to Ukraine and increase sanctions on Russia and Iran.

This measure was approved in a 360-58 vote.

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Johnson’s willingness to push forward Ukraine aid raised the ire of several far-right Republicans such as Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has threatened to file a motion to vacate that would force a vote on whether to oust Johnson, R-La., as speaker.

The GOP’s razor thin majority, coupled with opposition from the conservative Freedom Caucus, forged a rare moment of bipartisanship in the House, with Johnson forced to rely on Democratic votes to help get the supplemental bills over the line.

“We could let them simply crash and burn, but when we say we put people over politics, we mean it,” House Minority Hakeem Jeffries said on Friday after a procedural vote that allowed the bills to be taken up on the floor. Still, Democrat leaders have fallen short of saying they would protect Johnson if the motion to vacate is triggered.

Republican and Democrat leadership from the House armed services, foreign affairs and appropriations committees all voiced strong support for the supplemental bills, with Jeffries, a New York Democrat, calling the decision a “Churchill or Chamberlain moment” earlier this week.

Other lawmakers similarly highlighted the criticality of the vote during speeches on the House floor earlier today.

“The world is waiting, watching and wanting America to lead,” said Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Calif, the chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee. The supplementals “provide the resources necessary to bolster our military, reassure our allies and partners and commit to stand against terror.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, the House Appropriations Committee’s top Democrat, said the billions provided to Ukraine included “desperately needed aid and munitions needed to fight against Putin’s tyranny,” adding that Congress’s failure to pass the bill would result in “the appeasement of a dictator.”

In contrast, Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla., voiced opposition to the bill, stating that the United States could no longer afford to further support Ukraine without a strategy from Biden that lays out what victory in Ukraine looks like.

Earlier supplemental-related drama included a slew of unserious amendments by lawmakers aimed at throwing shade on their political enemies — such as one Greene-sponsored measure calling for space lasers to be deployed on the US-Mexico border, and another that would have designated Greene an envoy of Vladimir Putin — which were not considered during floor debate. 

During a hearing on Wednesday, Defense Department leaders underscored the urgency of approving additional funding for Ukraine, which is facing ammunition and equipment shortages as war with Russia continues.

Pentagon Comptroller Mike McCord warned that the department is already $2 billion in the hole for unfunded operations in Europe and the Middle East this year. If Congress found itself unable to pass supplemental funding measure, the department would be forced to cut “enabler” funds — likely facilities and weapons accounts — in order to make sure forces can remain deployed, he said.