A majority of House Republicans rejected a series of efforts to cut back on funding for Ukraine on Wednesday, voting down a trio of amendments to a Pentagon appropriations bill that would have curtailed Washington’s financial support for Kyiv.
The votes came more than two months after more than half of the House GOP conference voted down two similar amendments to the annual defense authorization bill. Wednesday’s votes, however, come as Congress is racing the clock to fund the government ahead of a Sept. 30 shutdown deadline.
Funding for Ukraine has emerged as a central part of conversations over government funding. The Senate advanced a bipartisan continuing resolution Tuesday that includes $6.15 billion in Ukraine aid, which House Republicans have lined up against in part because of the money for Kyiv.
The first amendment, introduced by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), would have decreased funding for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative by $300 million, the full amount included in the spending bill.
The House voted it down in a 104-330 vote, with all support coming from Republicans. A total of 117 GOP lawmakers voted against the amendment. An amendment to strike the $300 million in Ukraine funding from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) failed in an 89-341 vote in July.
That provision had been a source of controversy within the House GOP conference this month.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters last week that he would strip that money out of the spending bill and hold a separate vote on the funding after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) joined conservatives in blocking a procedural vote to advance the legislation. Greene and others have voiced concerns about continued financial support to Kyiv.
But McCarthy backtracked on that vow one day later, announcing that the money would remain in the bill after recognizing that another spending measure — one that funds the State Department and foreign operations — also included aid for Ukraine. McCarthy said removing the funding from the State Department bill “becomes more difficult to do,” so he ultimately decided to keep the money in both.
Those two appropriations bills were included in the same rule, along with two others, that the House voted on Tuesday. Greene opposed the rule — which governs debate on legislation — because of the inclusion of Ukraine aid in the two spending measures.
While the Pentagon funding bill will not help stave off a shutdown and is unlikely to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate, the votes come as the upper chamber prepares to pass and send to the House their short-term stopgap that contains aid for Ukraine.
The House also overwhelmingly rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) that called for prohibiting security assistance for Ukraine. The chamber voted against the amendment 93-339. All support came from Republicans, while 126 GOP lawmakers voted “no.”
In July, an amendment to the NDAA to prohibit security assistance for Ukraine failed in a 70-358 vote.
Additionally, the House voted down an amendment, also introduced by Gaetz, that would have prohibited funds from being used to transfer cluster munitions. The vote was 160-269.
That amendment split both parties: 85 Republicans and 75 Democrats supported the measure, while 132 Republicans and 137 Democrats voted against it.