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House passes key foreign aid package

What we covered here

  • The House has passed a $95 billion package providing foreign aid for Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific region.
  • A fourth bill in the package addressed other House GOP priorities, including sanctions on Iran and a measure that could lead to a TikTok ban. The legislation will be combined into a single amendment as it moves on to the Senate, where Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said lawmakers will begin voting on it Tuesday.
  • After months of resisting putting a foreign aid bill on the House floor, GOP Speaker Mike Johnson joined with Democrats to advance the measure to Saturday's vote.
  • The bipartisan move drew the ire of some hardline members in the Republican Party, who are supporting an effort to oust him. Johnson's job is safe for now, as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said she won't yet move forward with a motion to vacate.
Our live coverage has ended. Read more about the House's passage of the foreign aid package below.
6:18 p.m. ET, April 20, 2024

The House just voted on a potential TikTok ban (again). Now what?

The TikTok office in Culver City, California, is pictured on March 13. Mike Blake/Reuters

House lawmakers have once again passed legislation that could lead to a nationwide TikTok ban, renewing a massive threat to the company’s US operations.

Here’s what we know, and how it could affect you:

Didn’t the House vote on something like this recently?
Yes. In March, House lawmakers approved a bill that would give TikTok roughly six months to sell or the app would be prohibited from US app stores and from “internet hosting services” that support it.
What makes this bill different?

Instead of a six-month deadline, TikTok would have roughly nine months, which could be extended by President Joe Biden by 90 days if he determines there’s been progress toward a sale. Also, the bill has now been inserted into a larger foreign aid package, which makes it much harder for lawmakers to oppose the measure.

Could the Senate vote on the foreign aid package without the TikTok language?

Senators could try to strip out the TikTok legislation, but policy analysts view it as unlikely, as quickly approving the foreign aid is a top congressional priority.

What does this mean for my use of the app?

If the Senate votes to approve the TikTok legislation, it heads to the desk of Biden, who endorsed the prior version of the bill and may quickly sign any foreign aid package that includes similar language targeting TikTok.

In theory, that would start the 270-day clock for TikTok to find a buyer. If it can’t separate from its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, then users could be cut off. But that is still a big “if.”

5:27 p.m. ET, April 20, 2024

The House passed a key foreign aid package. Catch up on what happened

The US Capitol is seen in Washington, DC, on Saturday. Drew Angerer/AFP/Getty Images

The House on Saturday passed a key package that provides aid to Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific region, while also addressing GOP legislative priorities, such as sanctions on Iran and a potential ban on TikTok.

Here's what you need to know:

It's a $95 billion package
  • The bills provide nearly $61 billion for Ukraine, more than $26 billion for Israel and more than $8 billion for Indo-Pacific security.
The package could lead to a TikTok ban
  • The fourth bill in the package would place sanctions on the seizure of frozen Russian sovereign assets and a measure that could lead to a nationwide ban of TikTok
  • If passed, the bill would give the app's Chinese parent company, ByteDance, nine months to sell the social media company or it would be banned from US app stores.
How the House voted on each measure
What happens next
  • The legislation will be combined into one amendment before being sent to the Senate, where lawmakers will begin voting on it Tuesday. 
  • The Senate is likely to pass the package, which would then head to President Joe Biden, who has signaled that he would sign it.
Speaker Johnson's job is safe, for now
  • Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said she won’t move forward with her motion to vacate House Speaker Mike Johnson on Saturday to allow her GOP colleagues to hear from their constituents during the one-week recess.
5:26 p.m. ET, April 20, 2024

Palestinian official condemns vote by US House for aid package to Israel

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the spokesperson for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, voiced strong condemnation of the US House's approval of a $26 billion aid package for Israel, claiming the funding will directly correlate to the increasing number of Palestinian casualties, according to a statement published Saturday by WAFA, the official Palestinian agency.

Abu Rudeineh criticized the support, claiming it gives Israel the green light to broaden the war across the region and undermines the prospects for regional and global stability.

"US security aid [to Israel] constitutes a dangerous escalation and aggression against the Palestinian people," Abu Rudeineh added.

5:26 p.m. ET, April 20, 2024

19 House Progressive Caucus members say Israel aid bill "could result in more killings of civilians"

Nineteen members of the House Progressive Caucus who voted against further aid to Israel said Saturday that “we make ourselves complicit in this tragedy” if Congress continues to supply military assistance amid the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
“Our votes against H.R. 8034 are votes against supplying more offensive weapons that could result in more killings of civilians in Rafah and elsewhere,” they said in a joint statement.

More than 34,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the Israel-Hamas war began in October, according to the Ministry of Health there.

The statement also called for a ceasefire in Gaza, more humanitarian aid to be delivered, and peace talks to begin.

“When faced with the question of whether to provide offensive aid to further this conflict, we believe there is a moral imperative to find another path," the statement said.

These are the 19 progressive members who voted against the measure: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nydia Velázquez of New York; Joaquin Castro, Lloyd Doggett and Greg Casar of Texas; Pramila Jayapal of Washington; Ro Khanna, Mark Takano, Barbara Lee and Judy Chu of California; Becca Balint of Vermont; Jim McGovern of Massachusetts; Earl Blumenauer of Oregon; Hank Johnson of Georgia; André Carson of Indiana; Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey; Jesús García and Jonathan Jackson of Illinois; and Jill Tokuda of Hawaii.

4:40 p.m. ET, April 20, 2024

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says foreign aid bills will allow department "to surge lifesaving security assistance"

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks to the media at the seventh gathering of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany, on March 19. Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images/File

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Saturday celebrated the House's passage of a $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific.

“This bipartisan legislation will allow the Department to surge lifesaving security assistance to help Ukraine defend itself from Russia's aggression, support Israel's defense from Iran and its proxies, and increase the flow of urgently needed humanitarian aid to suffering Palestinian civilians in Gaza,” he said in a statement.

Austin added that the package of bills will “save lives” and that the “world is watching” what the United States does.

"We have seen yet again that the troubles of our times will only worsen without strong, steady U.S. leadership to advance our core security interests," Austin said, adding, "We must never give our friends, our rivals, or our foes any reason to doubt America's resolve."


4:34 p.m. ET, April 20, 2024

"We have not been forgotten": Ukrainian troops describe morale boost from US House vote

Ukrainian servicemen told CNN the US House vote to approve military aid provides a much-needed shot in the arm.

“We thought that our partners had forgotten about us,” an intelligence officer who is serving in the Zaporizhzhia region said in a phone conversation. “This news gives us a sense of support and understanding that we have not been forgotten.”
An artillery reconnaissance commander who spent two years defending the town of Avdiivka before it fell to Russia in February had a similar message.

“When we feel support from the outside, it motivates us. After all, the military knows it cannot win with sticks and bows and arrows,” he told CNN. “For people who want to defeat the enemy, this news is a great morale booster.”

4:36 p.m. ET, April 20, 2024

Russian Foreign Ministry says US foreign aid package will "exacerbate global crises"

A foreign aid package passed by the US House of Representatives will “exacerbate global crises,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a statement to CNN on Saturday.

Zakharova said that in addition to the package's "military aid to the Kyiv regime," the bills would support Taiwan's "interference in China’s internal affairs" and allow Israel to continue "a direct path toward escalating unprecedented aggravation in the region."

Some context: Russia, which is aligned with China and Iran on the global stage, has long painted US aid to Ukraine as American interventionism and an attempt to assert Western influence in the region.
Ukraine has said aid from Washington is critical as it continues to fight back against the full-scale invasion Moscow launched into its territory in February 2022.
4:09 p.m. ET, April 20, 2024

Greene and Massie rail on Johnson, say more Republicans will join their effort to oust him after speaking to their constituents

GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Thomas Massie railed on House Speaker Mike Johnson and his handling of the foreign aid bills, despite deciding not to move to oust the speaker Saturday.
Greene argued that more House Republicans will support their effort after going home over recess and speaking with their constituents.
“I'm actually gonna let my colleagues go home and hear from their constituents, because I think people have been too obsessed with voting for foreign wars and the murder industry here in America to actually understand how angry Americans are,” the Georgia Republican told CNN.
Massie, a Kentucky Republican, added that they are giving Johnson the chance to resign, although the speaker has insisted he won’t. Massie added he believes a motion to vacate — a rarely used procedural tool to remove the House speaker — will happen eventually.

“I'm pretty sure one will come to the floor, if he doesn't resign at some point, but we're trying to avoid that,” he said. 

Greene insisted their effort to oust Johnson is gaining momentum, adding that the speaker is "a lame duck." Rep. Paul Gosar Friday signed on to the effort Friday, becoming the third member to do so.

“If we had the vote today in our conference, he would not be speaker today. He's already a lame duck, he can't raise money, everyone knows it,” Greene claimed.

3:57 p.m. ET, April 20, 2024

Vulnerable House Republicans praise Johnson for handling of foreign aid bills

House Speaker Mike Johnson talks to the press after the House passed four foreign aid bills at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Saturday. Drew Angerer/AFP/Getty Images

Several swing-district House Republicans praised Speaker Mike Johnson for pushing forward with the foreign aid bills and attacked his detractors.

Republican Rep. Marc Molinaro, a vulnerable New York freshman lawmaker, told CNN’s Manu Raju that after speaking with his constituents, “It is clear to me that there are moments in time where we must do the right thing, and today we did that.”

He defended Johnson for waiting for months to hold votes on aid for critical allies Israel and Ukraine, saying the speaker had to build bipartisan consensus in "a very complicated Congress." Molinaro said he hoped Johnson’s detractors do not attempt to oust him, warning them that Congress is not “only supposed to do what they want.”

Rep. Jen Kiggans, a vulnerable Republican from Virginia, also praised the speaker.

“I'm very proud of Mike Johnson. I know what he did today was difficult, but there was a lot of us standing by him, and you saw great bipartisan effort today. And that's what Americans want to see,” she said.

Kiggans criticized the GOP hardliners who have pushed for Johnson’s ouster over the foreign aid package, saying, "It frustrates me when we have members of our conference who are isolationist; who don't believe in standing with our allies.”