New Border, Foreign Aid Bill Hits The House

U.S. southern border funding and defense-only assistance to Taiwan, Israel, and Ukraine are the new priorities of a bipartisan coalition of House legislators.

The money would be provided for one year after adoption as part of the bipartisan package, the “Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act,” valued at $66.3 billion. Most of the funds, totaling $47.69 billion, would be allocated to bolstering Ukraine’s military capabilities. The bill would also mandate the prompt detention and expulsion of inadmissible aliens by immigration officials and the suspension of entrance for such individuals to deal with the influx of migrants at the southern border.

The Senate approved A foreign assistance measure last week, but House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has already said he would not consider it.

The negotiated bipartisan border deal, which included measures to strengthen asylum regulations and beef up border security, was absent from the $95 billion Senate plan, which included funding for Israel, Ukraine, and other foreign policy objectives. As a prerequisite for providing help to Ukraine, Republicans had insisted on changes to border policy, but conservatives in both houses of Congress rejected an earlier Senate plan that included such language.

The new plan is an attempt by centrist representatives to gain traction. An estimated $47 billion would go to Ukraine, $10 billion to Israel, $5 billion to the Indo-Pacific, and $2 billion to support U.S. Central Command operations under their bill, the Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act. It would deduct humanitarian help for Gaza, Ukraine, and other worldwide hotspots, and it contains stipulations regarding the border, such as reinstituting the “Remain in Mexico” policy for a year.

Already, Democrats are casting doubt on the measure and demanding that Johnson consider the Senate version.

Several Republicans have stated their unwillingness to back any measure that differs from their failed H.R. 2 border plan, which garnered zero votes from Democrats.