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House to vote on foreign aid bills for Ukraine, Israel

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(WASHINGTON) — The House of Representatives will vote Saturday on a series of bills to provide $95 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

After Democrats helped Speaker Mike Johnson avoid defeat and advance the legislation on Friday, lawmakers will consider amendments and hold debate on Saturday before voting on final passage.

The long-stalled assistance would supply roughly $26 billion for Israel, $61 billion for Ukraine and $8 billion for the Indo-Pacific. A fourth bill being voted on Saturday includes measures to ban TikTok, sanction Iran and seize Russian assets to help fund Ukraine.

The White House said it “strongly supports” the legislation, which is expected to pass with bipartisan backing from Democrats and Republicans. House Democrats plan to hold a closed-door caucus meeting ahead of votes Saturday at 12 p.m. EDT.

But Johnson’s push to get the aid across the finish line has angered some of his conference’s far-right members, causing a growing threat to his speakership.

A third Republican, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, announced Friday he was joining a looming motion to oust Johnson just after the aid bills advanced.

Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene introduced the motion last month, accusing Johnson of “standing with the Democrats” after he worked across the aisle to avoid a government shutdown.

After Johnson unveiled his plan to forge ahead on foreign aid, Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky became the second hard-liner to back Greene’s cause. Massie called on Johnson to resign, a suggestion Johnson flatly rejected.

All three lawmakers have expressed frustration on Johnson moving ahead with foreign aid without addressing immigration. Though earlier this year, a bipartisan border deal was produced by a group of senators but was quickly deemed dead on arrival by former President Donald Trump and Johnson.

“Our border cannot be an afterthought,” Gosar said in a statement. “We need a Speaker who puts America first rather than bending to the reckless demands of the warmongers, neo-cons and the military industrial complex making billions from a costly and endless war half a world away.”

Johnson said Friday that the bills are “not the perfect legislation” but are “the best possible product” under the circumstances.

It remains to be seen when, or if, the hard-liners force a vote on the motion to vacate the speaker’s chair. If they do, Democrats would potentially need to step in to save Johnson’s job.

ABC News White House Correspondent MaryAlice Parks asked the administration if President Joe Biden discussed that possibility with Speaker Johnson in their phone call earlier this week.

“We do not get involved when it comes to leadership in, whether it’s the Senate or in the House,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded. “We’re very mindful. That is something that the members, in this case the members in Congress, have to decide on.”

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