Apr 19, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Johnson gets another rare bailout from Democrats on foreign aid

House Speaker Mike Johnson, wearing a gray suit, white shirt and red tie and flanked by aides in a Capitol hallway.

House Speaker Mike Johnson. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Getty Images.

House Democrats on Friday took another rare step to prevent House Speaker Mike Johnson's (R-La.) foreign aid package from being blocked.

Why it matters: As Republicans struggle with a razor-thin majority and a rebellious right flank, such bipartisanship on typically party-line procedural votes is becoming more common.

What happened: 165 Democrats voted with 151 Republicans to pass what is known as a "rule," a procedural mechanism setting the terms of debate and votes on legislation.

  • The bipartisanship was needed after 55 Republicans, mostly hardliners incensed about the $61 billion in Ukraine aid in the package, voted "no."
  • The vote sets the stage for the bill to be passed early Saturday afternoon.

Zoom out: Republican hardliners have increasingly defected from Republican leadership and voted to keep rules from passing this session.

  • Johnson, and former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), have been forced to occasionally seek out Democratic votes.
  • Democrats previously voted last May to help advance a bill raising the debt ceiling after a similar right-wing revolt.
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