GOP turns up heat on House Dems with high-pressure Israel vote Thursday

The House of Representatives is set to vote on a bill to stop President Biden from blocking offensive weapons aid to Israel on Thursday.

Biden has faced bipartisan backlash for withholding a bomb shipment from Israel over fears it could be used in Rafah, as well as for warning Israel that the U.S. would not send offensive weapons if they were used on population centers in the southern Gaza Strip. 

The Israel Security Assistance Support Act would condemn the president’s posture on Israel’s Gaza invasion while compelling the Biden administration to expeditiously send any weapons shipments already approved by Congress.

REPORTS OF BIDEN WHITE HOUSEKEEPING ‘SENSITIVE’ HAMAS INTEL FROM ISRAEL DRAWS OUTRAGE

It would also withhold funding from the secretary of defense, secretary of state and the National Security Council if there was any delay in weapons aid. 

Democrat leaders in the House and White House are actively opposing the bill, but it’s expected to have at least a few supporters on the left.

One House Democrat aide told Fox News Digital they anticipate roughly 10 left-wing lawmakers to join Republicans in supporting the bill.

 BLINKEN DELIVERS STRONGEST REBUKE OF ISRAEL YET: ‘GET OUT OF GAZA’

A second House Democrat aide put the number at under 20, noting that the White House was "pushing hard" against the bill.

At least two Democrat lawmakers – Reps. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., and Greg Landsman, D-Ohio – have told Axios that they are voting for the bill.

The issue of Israel has proven to be a potent political cudgel for the GOP as Democrats wrestle with a growing chorus of voices who are increasingly critical of the U.S.’s traditionally unconditional support for Israel.

MIKE PENCE ACCUSES BIDEN OF IMPEACHMENT HYPOCRISY

House Minority Whip Katherine Clark, D-Mass., said Wednesday morning, "We know this is a political sham bill. And really, when you look at this bill, they are looking to [the Pentagon], State Department, the NSC, in this time of global conflict. It's shameful."

The White House called the bill a "misguided reaction to a deliberate distortion of the administration’s approach to Israel" in its veto threat.

The vote comes days after Biden announced he was moving forward with a $1 billion weapons shipment to Israel, according to reports.

White House walks diplomatic tightrope on Israel amid contradictory messaging: ‘You can’t have it both ways’

The Biden administration has been taking criticism as of late for what some have described as conflicting messaging on key subjects relating to the United States' top Mideast ally: Israel.

During a daily briefing last week, Fox News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich pressed White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the administration's attestation to an "ironclad commitment" to Israel while "slow-walk[ing] arms sales."

Jean-Pierre replied, in part, by reiterating America's commitment to Israeli security remains "ironclad."

Meanwhile, President Biden himself pledged that if the Israel Defense Forces incur substantively into the southern Gazan city of Rafah, "I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities – that deal with that problem."

BLINKEN DELIVERS STRONGEST REBUKE OF ISRAEL YET: ‘GET OUT OF GAZA’

Several lawmakers have taken issue with the administration's stance, including Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., chair of the House Armed Services Committee, who called the president's recent tack "another shortsighted decision by Biden that undermines our allies, emboldens our adversaries, and sends the message that the U.S. is unreliable."

"Our adversaries would love nothing more than to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Israel," Rogers told Fox News Digital in a statement Friday. "Israel has the right to defend itself against Hamas and Iran."

Rogers' counterpart in the Senate, Armed Services Committee ranking member Roger Wicker, R-Miss., also called out Biden over a May 8 Associated Press report that the U.S. indeed paused a shipment of bombs in response to Israel potentially making a decision on a "full-scale assault" on Rafah.

"If Hamas laid down its weapons, the war would be over. But if Israel lays down its weapons, it would be the end of Israel," Wicker said. 

MIKE PENCE ACCUSES BIDEN OF IMPEACHMENT HYPOCRISY

"Unfortunately, President Biden has this backwards. He has withheld arms for our staunchest ally one day then professed solidarity with the Jewish people the next," the Magnolia State lawmaker added.

Former National Security Council official Victoria Coates said of the administration's conflicting messaging, "you can't have it both ways."

"You're going to have to pick a team and put on a jersey and get in a fight. And the administration is desperately trying to please both sides," Coates said.

"And what they've achieved is that both sides are very angry with them. So, you know, it's it's just a massive failure both on the policy and the political front."

Two other GOP senators, Ted Budd of North Carolina and Joni Ernst of Iowa, wrote the White House a detailed letter demanding issue-specific answers from Biden on his comments on arms sales and Rafah.

Some of the questions posed included demands on which types of ammunition are reportedly being withheld, whether any arms withheld were part of those directly approved by Congress in a recent supplemental appropriation, and how such reports square with the president's April 23 pledge to "make sure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself against Iran and terrorists it supports."

"Why did your administration fail to notify Congress about this decision to withhold assistance to Israel?" Ernst and Budd asked in the letter. 

"We must give Israel the arms it needs to fight the Hamas terrorists that continue to hold Americans hostage. We call on your administration to immediately restart the weapons shipments to Israel today."

In a statement, Budd told Fox News Digital one of his constituents, Keith Siegel, remains in Hamas captivity along with seven other U.S. citizens.

"President Biden is making it harder to secure the hostages’ freedom," Budd said.

Another Republican lawmaker, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul of Texas, called the threat of an arms embargo a "dangerous mistake" and "shortsighted."

On his Fox News program, "Life, Liberty & Levin," former Reagan Justice Department chief of staff Mark Levin went so far as to say Biden's actions have renewed "ancient blood libels against Jews."

Stateside, Biden has condemned the "ferocious surge of antisemitism in America" and said that "there’s the right to protest, but not the right to cause chaos" only after he tried to clean up comments made during a press gaggle where he said, "I also condemn those who don’t understand what’s going on with the Palestinians …"

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The administration has been criticized for declining to take a tough stance against criminal acts committed by some anti-Israel agitators on college campuses or call on law enforcement to step in.

In April, 27 Republican senators wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to demand an update on any efforts to curb the "outbreak of anti-Semitic, pro-terrorist mobs on college campuses."

"These pro-Hamas rioters have effectively shut down college campuses and have literally chased Jewish students away from our schools," the letter reads in part. "The Department of Education and federal law enforcement must act immediately to restore order, prosecute the mobs who have perpetuated violence and threats against Jewish students, revoke the visas of all foreign nationals (such as exchange students) who have taken part in promoting terrorism, and hold accountable school administrators who have stood by instead of protecting their students."

In response to the protests, Rep. Michael Lawler, R-N.Y., of whose district 90,000 Jewish U.S. citizens call home, drafted the Antisemitism Awareness Act, which successfully passed the House, 320-91, with some "nay" votes falling on grounds the bill would purportedly infringe upon First Amendment rights. Lawler's office did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

Fox News Digital reached out to the White House for comment but did not receive a response by press time.

Fox News' Jacqui Heinrich, Bradford Betz, Greg Norman and Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.

Biden is caving to campus agitators in threatening to cut aid to Israel, senators say: ‘All about November’

WASHINGTON, D.C. Republican senators believe President Biden's "disgraceful" warning to cut offensive aid to Israel during its conflict with Hamas was a political decision to appease "the pro-Hamas wing of the Democrat Party" in November.

President Biden recently threatened to cut aid to America's ally Israel if the country invades Rafah, a city in the Gaza Strip.

"If they go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities — that deal with that problem," the president told CNN Wednesday.

The decision comes after weeks of anti-Israel agitators causing chaos on college campuses across the nation, and lawmakers are connecting the two as the president seeks another term in the White House.

HOUSE GOP DRAFTING BIDEN IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES OVER ISRAEL AID CUTOFF THREAT

When asked about Biden's decision coming amid the anti-Israel riots, Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Mo., told Fox News Digital "the pro-Hamas wing of the Democrat Party is growing." 

"I do think he caved to the folks on campus, who are calling for the death of Israel. And I think the pro-Hamas wing of the Democrat Party is growing. And these are political decisions, trying to meddle in another country's elections," Schmitt said.

"You know, Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden called for Benjamin Netanyahu to be ousted in the middle of a war, and now he's withholding arms that have been appropriated. It's really outrageous," he added. "And I think, again, it just sort of shows how desperate Joe Biden is to try to again appease these radicals in his party. He's willing to risk U.S.-Israel relations."

Biden has received bipartisan backlash for his recent comment about aid to Israel, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country "will stand alone" to defeat Hamas if necessary.

"Sadly, this administration has been the most anti-Israel administration we've ever seen," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told Fox News Digital. "And right now, what do you see the Biden administration doing? They are simultaneously flooding cash to the Hamas terrorists while they're cutting off weapons to Israel. They're undermining our friend and ally Israel. It is disgraceful. And, yes, part of it is that today's Democrat Party is terrified of the radical left in the party, the extreme anti-Israel, antisemitic protesters we see at college campuses all across the country."

The senator added there is a "pro-Hamas wing" of the Democratic party.

NETANYAHU SAYS ISRAEL ‘WILL STAND ALONE’ IF NECESSARY AFTER BIDEN THREATENS TO WITHHOLD WEAPONS

When asked by Fox News Digital if the campus riots were linked to Biden's recent warning to Israel, Sen. Ted Budd, R-N.C. said the two events are "absolutely" connected to Biden seeking another term.

Budd said Biden's warning to Israel was about the November election and Biden "collapsing in these swing states."

"I just got back from Israel this week, met with the prime minister. Met with many people here rather easily. They're wondering, ‘What the heck is the U.S. doing?’ This is all about November, Joe Biden. This is about Minnesota. This is about Michigan. He's collapsing in these swing states. And so he's trying to stitch this together, and it's completely off the rails. 

"It's showing the world that you can't trust the U.S.," Budd added. "It's very frustrating, particularly when you're trying to get the eight U.S. hostages home and respect these families that have been waiting and waiting for over 200 days. This just demonstrates weakness and confusion to the world."

Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., agreed Biden's statement was in response to the protests, saying, "I think he's caved to the college agitators. And just, in general, the Palestinian community. It just doesn't make sense to any of us. And that's why I encourage everybody to not listen to what he says. Watch what Joe Biden does. It makes no sense.

"I describe it as Biden's schizophrenic national security policies," he continued. "On the one hand, he says he wants to minimize casualties, public casualties. But, on the other hand, he keeps us from sending smart bombs. On the one hand, he says that he wants a minimum loss of life, that he wants the hostages released. But when he tells the world, 'We're not going to send any more weapons,' what is the message? Do they back out of the negotiations? So, everything that Joe Biden touches when it comes to national security just turns to mud."

Rep. Cory Mills, R-Fla., filed articles of impeachment against Biden Friday for his threat against Israel, saying ahead of the move that "these are the same accusations made against President Trump, which resulted in his impeachment by Democrats. The same must happen for Joe Biden, which is why we’re drawing up articles of impeachment now."

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

Fox News' Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report.

GOP rep files impeachment articles using Dem precedent set during Trump administration

FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Cory Mills, R-Fla., formally filed articles of impeachment against President Biden on Friday over his recent comments about withholding offensive weapons aid to Israel, drawing parallels to House Democrats' first impeachment of former President Trump.

The first-term House Republican told Fox News Digital it was his "constitutional duty" to do so.

His legislative text, first obtained by Fox News Digital, accuses Biden of "abuse of power" and charges that he tried to force Israel into changing its own defense policies by leveraging lethal aid.

"In violation of his oath to faithfully execute the office of President and to uphold the Constitution, President Biden abused the powers of his office by soliciting a 'quid pro quo' with Israel while leveraging vital military aid for policy changes. This egregious action not only compromised the credibility of the United States but also undermined the interests of our longstanding ally, Israel. Therefore, President Biden's conduct warrants impeachment, trial, removal from office, and disqualification from holding any future office under the United States," Mills said in a statement.

ANTI-ISRAEL OCCUPIERS COULD LOSE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS UNDER NEW GOP SENATE BILL

Fox News Digital was first to report Mills' intent to file the impeachment articles on Thursday. He and other GOP lawmakers have drawn comparisons between Biden's comments on Israel and Trump's leveraging of lethal aid to Ukraine unless Kyiv announced an investigation into the Bidens.

"Joe Biden is pressuring Israel, our biggest ally in the Middle East, by pausing their funding that has already been approved in the House, if they don't stop all operations with Hamas. It’s a very clear message, ‘this for that,'" Mills said Thursday. "These are the same accusations made against President Trump, which resulted in his impeachment by Democrats. The same must happen for Joe Biden, which is why we’re drawing up articles of impeachment now."

Biden made the high-stakes ultimatum to Israel's government in a CNN interview that aired Wednesday night as it prepares for a ground invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah. The city is currently home to more than a million Palestinians who left other parts of the Gaza Strip, where Israel has conducted its mission to eradicate the terrorist group Hamas.

Biden said Israel would continue to see U.S. support for its defensive systems, like the Iron Dome, in the CNN interview. He added, however, that "if they go into Rafah, I'm not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities, that deal with that problem."

'NO CHOICE' BUT TO IMPEACH BIDEN OVER DELAYED ISRAEL AID, GOP SENATOR SAYS

Mills' legislative text argues that in making those comments, Biden "used the powers of the presidency in a manner that compromised the national security of the United States and its ally Israel."

It's highly unlikely for the push to reach the level of a Senate trial, with the House's current ongoing impeachment inquiry into Biden still searching for smoking gun evidence amid accusations of improper behavior and bribery, all of which the White House has denied.

But it shows the sky-high tensions that have taken over Washington amid Israel's war on Hamas after the terrorist group's Oct. 7 attack.

A White House official told Fox News Digital that Mills' push was "ridiculous" on Thursday.

BIDEN'S DECISION TO PULL ISRAEL WEAPONS SHIPMENT KEPT QUIET UNTIL AFTER HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE ADDRESS: REPORT

"Senior administration officials had already made multiple public statements about Rafah similar to the President’s, including that we are also ensuring Israel gets every dollar appropriated in the supplemental. Trump failed to spend dollars appropriated by Congress that he was legally required to spend. This is about a purchase made by a foreign government and our decision whether to deliver that purchase right now, which could enable an operation we’ve publicly and privately objected to," the official said.

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Meanwhile, White House national security communications adviser John Kirby told reporters on Thursday, "As the President said, Israel has not yet launched such an operation, so he was talking about what would happen in the future if they did.  That is a choice Israel will have to make.  We hope they don't. We will keep working with them to develop alternative approaches that we think have a better chance of strategic success and a better chance of eliminating the threat that Israeli people still face from Hamas."

Fox News Digital reached out to the White House for further comment on Friday.

House GOP drafting Biden impeachment articles over Israel aid cutoff threat

FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Cory Mills, R-Fla., is preparing impeachment articles against President Biden over his threat to halt U.S. offensive aid to Israel, the first-term lawmaker told Fox News Digital on Thursday.

Mills accused Biden of forcing Israel into a "quid pro quo" situation by leveraging U.S. dollars against the Israeli government's actions in Gaza, drawing parallels to Democrats' first impeachment of former President Trump over his handling of Ukraine aid.

"The House has no choice but to impeach President ‘Quid pro Joe’ Biden. As Vice President, Biden was caught threatening to withhold funding and aid to Ukraine unless they fired the attorney general investigating Burisma, a company financially benefiting his son Hunter, not to mention the 10% share for 'the big guy' himself," Mills said in a statement.

"Now, Joe Biden is pressuring Israel, our biggest ally in the Middle East, by pausing their funding that has already been approved in the House, if they don't stop all operations with Hamas. It’s a very clear message, ‘this for that.’

MANY ISRAELIS FEEL ‘BETRAYED’ FOLLOWING BIDEN THREAT TO WITHHOLD ARMS TO DEFEAT HAMAS IN RAFAH

"These are the same accusations made against President Trump, which resulted in his impeachment by Democrats. The same must happen for Joe Biden, which is why we’re drawing up articles of impeachment now," Mills finished.

Biden made the high-stakes ultimatum to Israel's government in a CNN interview that aired Wednesday night as it prepares for a ground invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah. The city is currently home to more than a million Palestinians who left other parts of the Gaza Strip, where Israel has conducted its mission to eradicate the terrorist group Hamas.

Biden said Israel would continue to see U.S. support for its defensive systems, like the Iron Dome, in the CNN interview. He added, however, "if they go into Rafah, I'm not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities, that deal with that problem."

BIDEN'S DECISION TO PULL ISRAEL WEAPONS SHIPMENT KEPT QUIET UNTIL AFTER HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE ADDRESS: REPORT

The remarks prompted a flurry of backlash from Republicans and some moderate Democrats. Several more GOP lawmakers voiced support for impeaching Biden over the decision, arguing there are parallels to Trump's withholding of weapons aid to Ukraine in exchange for announcing an investigation into the Biden family.

Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., called on the House to open an immediate impeachment inquiry, arguing that Biden was motivated by political reasons.

"Given Democrats’ Trump-Ukraine precedent, President Biden’s decision to withhold lethal aid to our ally, Israel, for political gain is undoubtedly an impeachable offense. Clearly, the nefarious motive behind our commander in chief’s move to condition U.S. aid to Israel is to appease radical leftists and Hamas sympathizers ahead of the 2024 election," Clyde said. "The House must immediately open an impeachment inquiry due to the president’s disastrous decision to play politics with national security."

Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., told Fox News Digital, "The Democrats made their bed, and now they're [lying] in it. This is just the latest on a long list of reasons to impeach Biden, including the deadline withdrawal in Afghanistan and allowing more than 9 million illegal immigrants to invade our southern border."

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION’S DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION INVESTIGATING EMORY UNIVERSITY FOR ALLEGED ANTI-MUSLIM DISCRIMINATION 

It's highly unlikely for the push to reach the level of a Senate trial, with the House's current ongoing impeachment inquiry into Biden still searching for smoking gun evidence amid a mountain of accusations of improper behavior and bribery. 

But it shows the sky-high tensions that have taken over Washington amid Israel's war on Hamas after the terrorist group's Oct. 7 attack.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., stopped short of calling for impeachment, but said, "The president is essentially threatening an arms embargo on our closest ally in the Middle East that is fighting a terror army holding American citizens hostage. Withholding critical munitions that Congress appropriated and Biden himself signed into law is wrong."

The first member of Congress to make the call was Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., posting on X early on Thursday morning, "The House has no choice but to impeach Biden based on the Trump-Ukraine precedent of withholding foreign aid to help with reelection. Only with Biden, it’s true."

Fox News Digital has reached out to the White House for comment.

Johnson faces uphill climb to win back GOP rebels before November; here’s what they want

Conservative critics of Speaker Mike Johnson’s leadership are warning that he has an uphill climb to winning back their support in time for House Republicans’ leadership elections at the end of this year.

"He's gonna have a tough time based on past history, because I would submit he's failed on just about everything other than initiating [the Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas] impeachment effort," House Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Good, R-Va., told Fox News Digital.

Johnson was elected speaker in October in a strongly unanimous House GOP vote, with Republicans hungry for unity after three weeks of turmoil following ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s ouster.

The Louisiana Republican now finds himself in a similar situation to his predecessor, with a small but vocal group of lawmakers on his right flank calling for his immediate removal, through a process known as motion to vacate, for working along bipartisan lines on critical legislation. The push is being made by Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.; Thomas Massie, R-Ky.; and Paul Gosar, R-Ariz.

TENSIONS ERUPT ON HOUSE FLOOR AS CONSERVATIVES CONFRONT JOHNSON ON $95B FOREIGN AID PLAN

The vast majority of House Republicans have refused to take up that fight again, but Republicans angry over what they see as Johnson’s failure to deliver on conservative priorities like border security and cutting federal spending signal he has miles of ground to recover before they back him a second time.

"Whoever wants to be in any leadership position for the Republican House of Representatives should we be blessed to be given the majority again, which is going to take a c--- ton of hard work between now and November, is going to have to demonstrate not only the policy direction they want to, but the track record and willingness to stand up and fight for it. And, so far, we have not delivered what we need to deliver," said Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas.

'DEFINITION OF INSANITY': FRUSTRATED HOUSE REPUBLICANS BLAST GOP REBELS' THREAT TO OUST JOHNSON

Good was one of eight House Republicans who voted with Democrats to oust McCarthy last year. He distanced himself from calls to immediately remove Johnson last week, citing the much slimmer House majority Johnson is operating with. But Good suggested he wanted to see new leadership races in November after the election.

He told Fox News Digital Monday his support for Johnson would hinge on his handling of fiscal year 2025 appropriations, the deadline for which is Sept. 30.

"He could truly fight for Republican policy initiatives. He could truly fight to cut our spending. He could fight to ensure that we do not fund the government unless it reflects Republican priorities," Good said. "He has sort of one more big crack at the bat. I hope he'll take that opportunity."

Johnson and Congressional appropriators are headed into that fight with their hands relatively tied by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, the deal to raise the debt limit struck by McCarthy and President Biden last year, which also set certain terms on shaping fiscal year 2025 funding priorities.

A spokesperson for Johnson told Fox News Digital, "Speaker Johnson is committed to governing – not his political ambitions. He will continue to advance conservative priorities and demonstrate how we’ll grow our majority in November."

Party leadership races are normally held behind closed doors in the weeks after an election. If Republicans keep the House, Johnson would traditionally only need a majority vote there to then prevail as speaker on the House floor, with fellow Republicans expected to get in line even if they didn’t support him initially.

But the 15 rounds McCarthy went through last year, repeatedly blocked by GOP dissent, show that Johnson may need to guarantee unanimous support behind closed doors even if he manages to keep Republicans in power.

HOUSE REPUBLICANS BLAST 'CRY WOLF' CONSERVATIVES WHO TANKED FISA RENEWAL BILL

"Moving forward, I would ask Mike Johnson if being speaker is something he wants to continue. If he is, I would have an all inclusive list of issues where he would agree/not agree to actually make happen as speaker BEFORE I would commit," Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., said via text message.

Norman and Good were two of the original McCarthy holdouts

"Based on his past performance, I doubt he would agree to take the hard negotiation stance that I would need to see. However, due to my respect that I have for Mike as a person, I would start with the questions as listed," Norman said.

Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., who voted to oust McCarthy in October, said he was "open to discussion" about supporting Johnson, but he needed to see "a clear plan for fiscal responsibility" and border security.

Roy, however, was less optimistic House Republicans would see wins in the end-of-year spending fight. 

"There will not be, in my opinion, under this leadership, and in this environment, at this time, the ability to move or ration bills before Election Day that are going to drive the policy that needs to be driven," the Texas Republican said.

Johnson's office did not respond to a request for comment.

Congress won’t pass border security legislation this year, Johnson’s office suggests

The House GOP’s push to pass border security reform in the 118th Congress could end up an unrealized dream.

A spokesperson for Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., pointed out to Fox News Digital that House Republicans have passed multiple border security and immigration enforcement bills – none of which have been taken up by the Democrat-controlled Senate.

The Johnson spokesperson indicated that with Republicans and Democrats still far apart on the issue, House GOP leaders are relying on former President Trump to take back the White House next year for any meaningful border policy changes to take place.

GOP PREPS ATTACKS ON VULNERABLE DEM SENATORS OVER MAYORKAS IMPEACHMENT TRIAL DISMISSAL

"House Republicans have passed multiple border security bills – including our signature Secure the Border Act, Laken Riley Act, and Consequences for Social Security Fraud Act – which have been ignored by the Democrat Senate and proves their unseriousness when it comes to dealing with the border catastrophe," Johnson’s office said. "Democrats have only proposed measures for political cover that won’t fix the problem, and Republicans are not going to let the White House accept anything less than transformative change."

"House Republicans understand that the only way to truly solve the problem is to elect President Trump in November."

REPUBLICANS PREDICT DEMS TO PAY 'HEAVY PRICE' IN ELECTION AFTER MAYORKAS IMPEACHMENT BID FAILS

Fox News Digital had reached out to Johnson’s office two days after the speaker convened a rare Saturday session to pass his $95 billion foreign aid proposal. 

While the wide bipartisan margin demonstrated a victory for Johnson in his still relatively new leadership role, GOP rebels who have been increasingly critical of Johnson for crossing the aisle on key legislation were furious that he passed roughly $61 billion in Ukraine aid without trying to force through border security measures.

"The only path forward for substantive border legislation was to leverage the Biden regime's push for more Ukraine aid," Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., wrote on X last week.

Johnson has also maintained for months that President Biden himself has the unilateral ability to stop the border crisis through executive action – something the White House has pushed back on, arguing a permanent fix has to come from Congress.

The statement from Johnson's office Tuesday came after Fox News Digital asked if he had spoken with Biden recently about the possibility of executive action on the border, or whether House Republicans could be looking at using the next big legislative fight – fiscal year 2025 government funding – as an area to jam the Senate on border security.

An earlier attempt to pass foreign aid alongside a bipartisan border security deal failed when Republicans in both the Senate and House argued the border measures included would have only codified the Biden administration’s existing bad policies.

‘CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY’ OF SENATE DEMS QUASHING MAYORKAS IMPEACHMENT TRIAL QUESTIONED BY EXPERTS

Democrats, however, refused Republicans’ urging to take up their Secure the Border Act, calling its Trump administration-era immigration provisions a non-starter.

Meanwhile, a House GOP aide familiar with the House Homeland Security Committee’s work said the panel was conducting multiple investigations into the Biden administration’s handling of the border, but would not discuss any pending legislation that House GOP leaders could have potentially held up as a new push for reform.

The House GOP aide said Republicans were committed "to respond[ing] to this crisis and [making] sure people know [they] take this issue very seriously."

Senate won’t pass border security legislation this year, Johnson’s office suggests

The House GOP’s push to pass border security reform through the divided 118th Congress could end up an unrealized dream.

A spokesperson for Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., pointed out to Fox News Digital that House Republicans have passed multiple border security and immigration enforcement bills – none of which have been taken up by the Democrat-controlled Senate.

The Johnson spokesperson indicated that with Republicans and Democrats still far apart on the issue, House GOP leaders are relying on former President Trump to take back the White House next year for any meaningful border policy changes to take place.

GOP PREPS ATTACKS ON VULNERABLE DEM SENATORS OVER MAYORKAS IMPEACHMENT TRIAL DISMISSAL

"House Republicans have passed multiple border security bills – including our signature Secure the Border Act, Laken Riley Act, and Consequences for Social Security Fraud Act – which have been ignored by the Democrat Senate and proves their unseriousness when it comes to dealing with the border catastrophe," Johnson’s office said. "Democrats have only proposed measures for political cover that won’t fix the problem, and Republicans are not going to let the White House accept anything less than transformative change."

"House Republicans understand that the only way to truly solve the problem is to elect President Trump in November."

REPUBLICANS PREDICT DEMS TO PAY 'HEAVY PRICE' IN ELECTION AFTER MAYORKAS IMPEACHMENT BID FAILS

Fox News Digital had reached out to Johnson’s office two days after the speaker convened a rare Saturday session to pass his $95 billion foreign aid proposal. 

While the wide bipartisan margin demonstrated a victory for Johnson in his still relatively new leadership role, GOP rebels who have been increasingly critical of Johnson for crossing the aisle on key legislation were furious that he passed roughly $61 billion in Ukraine aid without trying to force through border security measures.

"The only path forward for substantive border legislation was to leverage the Biden regime's push for more Ukraine aid," Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., wrote on X last week.

Johnson has also maintained for months that President Biden himself has the unilateral ability to stop the border crisis through executive action – something the White House has pushed back on, arguing a permanent fix has to come from Congress.

The statement from Johnson's office Tuesday came after Fox News Digital asked if he had spoken with Biden recently about the possibility of executive action on the border, or whether House Republicans could be looking at using the next big legislative fight – fiscal year 2025 government funding – as an area to jam the Senate on border security.

An earlier attempt to pass foreign aid alongside a bipartisan border security deal failed when Republicans in both the Senate and House argued the border measures included would have only codified the Biden administration’s existing bad policies.

‘CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY’ OF SENATE DEMS QUASHING MAYORKAS IMPEACHMENT TRIAL QUESTIONED BY EXPERTS

Democrats, however, refused Republicans’ urging to take up their Secure the Border Act, calling its Trump administration-era immigration provisions a non-starter.

Meanwhile, a House GOP aide familiar with the House Homeland Security Committee’s work said the panel was conducting multiple investigations into the Biden administration’s handling of the border, but would not discuss any pending legislation that House GOP leaders could have potentially held up as a new push for reform.

The House GOP aide said Republicans were committed "to respond[ing] to this crisis and [making] sure people know [they] take this issue very seriously."

Fox News Digital reached out to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's office for comment.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article’s headline has been updated to more clearly reflect that Johnson’s office was referring to the Senate.

House takes key test vote for Johnson’s $95B foreign aid plan after Dems help it advance

The House of Representatives is voting on whether to proceed with Speaker Mike Johnson’s $95 billion foreign aid proposal on Friday after it cleared its first key procedural hurdle with Democratic help.

The Friday morning vote is a test vote of sorts for the four foreign aid bills, known as a "rule vote." If successful it will allow lawmakers to debate each of the individual four bills and vote on their final passage on Saturday.

Three of the four bills fund Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific. A fourth bill includes national security priorities like the House’s recently passed crackdown on TikTok’s ownership as well as the REPO Act, which would liquidate seized Russian assets and give that funding to Ukraine.

Democrats had to help bail the GOP-led proposals on Thursday night in the face of conservative opposition. The Rules Committee, the final barrier before legislation traditionally gets a House-wide vote, spent all day considering the bills before advancing their "rules" package in a 9-3 vote.

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It’s highly unusual for Democrats, or any opposition party, to cross the aisle on a Rules Committee vote as well as a House-wide rule vote. But it underscores the urgency that lawmakers on both sides feel about sending aid to foreign allies.

The three conservatives on the panel — Reps. Chip Roy, R-Texas, Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Ralph Norman, R-S.C. — all voted against the measure; an equally unusual move that’s become common in the 118th Congress, where members of the House Freedom Caucus and their allies have wielded outsized influence in Republicans’ thin majority by blocking procedural hurdles such as this. Democrats’ support will be critical for the rule vote and potentially even final passage of the bills. 

Johnson has faced furious pushback from the right flank of his conference over most of his plan, particularly sending $60 billion to Ukraine, which has become a politically fraught topic for much of the GOP.

Those same foreign aid hawks have objected to some of the Israel funding being aimed at humanitarian aid in Gaza, though its inclusion was critical to winning Democratic support. In a victory for Republicans, however, it prevents any of the Israel-Gaza funding from going toward the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), a Palestinian refugee agency alleged to have ties to Hamas.

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Conservative rebels also decried House GOP leaders’ decision to combine the four bills into one before sending it to the Senate, arguing it amounted to the same $95 billion foreign aid package the Democrat-majority chamber passed earlier this year and which House Republicans oppose. Johnson has argued that packaging them together for the Senate would prevent them from neglecting the Israel bill at a time when the issue has divided the Democratic Party.

Earlier this week, Massie threatened he’d move to oust Johnson from the speakership if he did not step aside after having the House vote on his foreign aid plans. One GOP lawmaker who was present at the closed-door meeting where it happened told Fox News Digital on Tuesday that Johnson challenged him to do so.

Massie is now signed onto Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s motion to vacate resolution, which, if deemed "privileged" by Greene, would force the House to begin voting on Johnson’s potential ouster within two legislative days.

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Some discussion over whether to raise the threshold needed to call a motion to vacate — currently just one member can call for it — ended with Johnson backing off of the controversial move after it enraged GOP rebels and spurred new ouster threats.

Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., suggested to reporters earlier that a wide swath of rank-and-file Republicans supported the idea; but Johnson denied having such conversations earlier on Thursday when asked by Fox News Digital.

"Recently, many members have encouraged me to endorse a new rule to raise this threshold. While I understand the importance of that idea, any rule change requires a majority of the full House, which we do not have. We will continue to govern under the existing rules," Johnson said on Thursday evening. 

Johnson likely forced to get Dem help on foreign aid plan as Republicans decry lack of border measures

The foreign aid plan Speaker Johnson, R-La., unveiled on Monday night is already facing a growing red wave of opposition from his own colleagues as of Tuesday morning, making it likely he will have to seek House Democratic support to get the proposal passed.

Under Johnson’s tentative plan, aid for Ukraine, Taiwan and Israel would all be considered as separate bills. A fourth bill would combine miscellaneous national security priorities, including the House’s recently passed bill that could pave the way to a TikTok ban and the REPO Act, a bipartisan measure to liquefy seized Russian assets and send that money to Ukraine.

A lack of any border security measures, however, has prompted even reliable leadership allies to be wary of letting the bills move forward.

"I’m thinking of voting against the rule," Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., told Fox News Digital. "Unless we vote to send something to the Senate the same day that addresses the border, requires the president to take action on his executive orders. Or we can put something with the underlying legislation that would actually do a couple of things – we can stop money from going to NGOs that are transporting individuals, we can stop Homeland Security from releasing criminals into the interior."

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While the four bills are designed to get separate House floor votes, they will first have to pass a procedural hurdle known as a rule vote, a House-wide measure that if passed will allow for debate and eventual votes on the four individual pieces. 

Rule votes traditionally fall along party lines, and with Johnson's razor-thin majority, he can only afford to lose two Republicans on any party-line vote – and it's becoming increasingly likely that he might, meaning Democrats will need to break precedent to help get the bills over the line.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., whose disagreements with Johnson have led her to threaten his leadership role, said on Tuesday morning that she would vote against the rule unless the Democrat-controlled Senate took up the House GOP's comprehensive border security bill known as H.R.2 – which Democrats have panned as a nonstarter.

"NO, I am NOT voting for the rule on Johnson’s bundle of funding bills for billions more to Ukraine and other foreign wars. When Joe Biden signs HR2 into law and Schumer holds the Mayorkas impeachment trial in the Senate, I will agree to vote for the rule only," Greene said on X. "Speaker Johnson is not holding Democrats accountable nor leading our Republican majority, he’s actually giving in to Democrats every demand. And he’s using dirty swamp tactics to push through the America Last agenda."

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Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, a member of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, would not say how he would vote on the rule but told reporters, "The rule that was proposed last night at conference will fail."

Other critics of foreign aid similarly declined to say how they would vote but signaled they were opposed to Johnson's proposal itself.

"I think it leaves much to be desired. It doesn't have border control in it, it doesn't have any pay-fors in it," Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., told Fox News Digital. "I think those are two problems."

Other Republicans, however, argued it's a better plan than the Senate-passed $95 trillion supplemental aid package that its leaders are now pressuring Johnson to take up.

"No one wants to swallow the senate supplemental as a whole, and if we wait any longer without taking any action, that's exactly what's going to happen," Rep. Nick Langworthy, R-N.Y., told Fox News Digital.

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Rep. Anthony D'Esposito, R-N.Y., urged his colleagues to remember that they had already passed H.R.2 and have furiously been pushing for Democrats to take it up. He also told Fox News Digital that there were "conversations" about including border provisions before the text is released.

"I think we're in a critical time that, obviously, our allies need our support more than ever, and I hope that there's a way that we could include more border security into these packages," D'Esposito said. "But I think we need to remind ourselves that we've as House Republicans done our job. We sent a comprehensive border bill over to the Senate. They have failed to act."