Feb 18, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Lindsey Graham gives nod of support to House foreign aid bill

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he conditionally supports the House's proposed $66 billion national security package on Sunday.

Why it matters: Graham committed to voting no on the Senate's $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific last week, surprising many Republicans in part because of his support of Ukraine.

  • "I feel very optimistic after having been on the phone all weekend, talking with my House colleagues, that there's a way forward," Graham said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday.

What he's saying: "Yes, I am saying that the House proposal — it depends on how it's written — makes perfect sense to me," Graham said.

  • "I think you'll pick up six to eight Republicans who want to help Ukraine but believe that the bipartisan border bill was not sufficient enough," Graham said.
  • "Why did I vote no? I want to help ourselves by securing our border. I want to help Ukraine, Taiwan and Israel," he said.

The South Carolina Republican, who said he wants to "act now on the border," also called on the House to turn the aid package into a loan, saying he would continue to vote no on the bill until that was included.

  • The aid package becoming a loan is a sentiment echoed by former President Trump.
  • "That makes perfect sense to me, and I think the bipartisan Problem Solvers group has an idea that will sell," Graham said.

Catch up quick: On Friday, Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Jared Golden (D-Maine), along with six co-sponsors, rolled out a multi-billion dollar national security package that would provide aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, Axios' Andrew Solender reports.

  • Known as the "Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act," the bill would also reject migrants who legally or illegally cross the border without proper paperwork for one year — restricting asylum, but with humanitarian exceptions.
  • The bill includes $47.7 billion in aid to Ukraine, $10.4 billion for Israel and $4.9 billion for U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific to combat China.

Go deeper: House bipartisan group unveils $66 billion foreign aid bill

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