Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced Friday that he will strip funding for Ukraine out of a Pentagon spending bill after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) joined conservatives in blocking the legislation from advancing earlier this week.
McCarthy said he would remove the $300 million for Ukraine currently in the Pentagon appropriations bill and hold a separate vote on the funding.
“It would be out and voted on by itself,” McCarthy said when asked about the Ukraine aid in the Pentagon appropriations bill.
The Speaker’s announcement comes one day after a band of five conservatives opposed a procedural vote for the Pentagon appropriations bill, sinking the effort and preventing the legislation from moving forward. It was the second time this week that hard-liners blocked the funding bill from advancing.
Votes on rules — which govern debate for legislation — are normally partisan and predictable matters, with the majority supporting voting “yes” and the minority party voting “no.” It is very rare for rules to fail on the floor.
Greene, who has emerged as a close ally of McCarthy, was one of the Republicans who voted against the rule Thursday “because it funds the war in Ukraine.” It was a shift from her vote Tuesday, when the congresswoman supported the procedural vote to advance the Defense measure.
The rule failed for a second time on the same day that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with lawmakers in the Capitol.
The Pentagon funding bill includes $300 million “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.”
Greene has come out against sending additional money to Ukraine. On Friday morning, she went live on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, and said she would support the measure if the Ukraine aid is taken out.
Following McCarthy’s announcement Friday, Greene said it was “frustrating” that it took leadership so long to strip out the money.
“This should have happened weeks ago,” Greene told The Hill in a statement. “I’ve made it loud and clear that I would not vote for a single penny of Ukraine funding. It’s frustrating to me things had to get to this level, that we had to waste an entire week when we could have been passing appropriations.
“Our defense appropriations bill should never be going to fund a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, so this is a victory for common sense,” she later added. “I’m proud to have made it happen.”
The failed rule vote Thursday was a blow to McCarthy, who has sought to advance the appropriations process ahead of a Sept. 30 shutdown deadline — to no avail.
In addition to the two failed rule votes for the Pentagon appropriations bill, leadership scrapped plans to vote on a partisan continuing resolution to keep the government funded past Sept. 30 on Tuesday after a number of conservatives said they were against the proposal.
House GOP leadership sent members home Thursday night after no progress was made all week.
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