The House Rules Committee has decisively voted 9-3 to advance a comprehensive package of bills aimed at providing aid to Israel, Ukraine, and other key allies. This move comes after a rare instance of Democrats lending their support to procedural votes for Republican-backed bills.

Republican Representatives Chip Roy, Thomas Massie, and Ralph Norman dissented from the rule, citing their discontent that aid to Ukraine was not coupled with conservative border security provisions. This decision stemmed from House Speaker Mike Johnson’s previous advocacy for such measures.

Thursday evening’s vote paves the way for the full House to proceed with voting on the rule and initiating deliberations on the foreign aid bills. It is anticipated that various components of the package will secure passage with bipartisan support over the course of this weekend.

Leading up to the vote, Democratic leaders had not definitively committed to endorsing the rule due to the unavailability of the text at the time. However, they expressed openness to the possibility and affirmed their dedication to passing foreign aid legislation.

“We are prepared to take the necessary steps to ensure the passage of the national security bill,” remarked House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries on Thursday morning.

Instances of minority support for a majority rule are exceedingly rare. Consequently, both Speaker Johnson and his predecessor, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, have encountered instances where rules failed on the floor, largely due to objections from the party’s right flank.

Progress is made in the advancement of aid, yet the potential threat to Johnson lingers.


The proposed rule does not alter the threshold required to initiate a motion to remove the speaker, a change advocated by several members of the Republican Conference. Presently, it only necessitates one member to initiate such a motion. While Johnson reportedly contemplated this adjustment on Thursday morning, he conveyed on social media that the House would persist in governance under the existing regulations.

Representatives Massie and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia have jointly sponsored a motion to vacate the speakership; however, they have yet to bring it to the floor for a vote.

Representative Mike Lawler, a moderate Republican representing a swing district in New York, emphasized on Thursday morning the imperative need to promptly alter the threshold. “However it needs to be accomplished, it should be done,” Lawler remarked. “If Mike Johnson is ousted simply for advancing aid to our allies, it will not only instigate further turmoil but also impede future speakers from executing sound decisions when required.”

Nevertheless, several hardliners voiced opposition to the proposed change ahead of Thursday’s Rules Committee meeting.

“If he introduces a rule to modify the motion to vacate and then garners Democratic support on the Rules Committee, he will confirm what I’ve been asserting: He is a Democrat speaker,” Greene asserted.

Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida initiated the motion to oust McCarthy in October but does not advocate for removing Johnson presently. “I am concerned that extensive deliberation on altering the threshold for a motion to vacate could precipitate its invocation,” Gaetz cautioned. “I believe this would be unwise, given the series of ill-advised decisions we have witnessed.”

The Republican Main Street caucus, a moderate faction within the House, intends to dispatch a letter to Johnson, urging him to reconsider raising the threshold, as stated by Representative Anthony D’Esposito of New York. “The ability for one individual to hold our conference—aand, quite frankly, this institution—hhostage must be addressed,” D’Esposito asserted to CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Most Democrats have refrained from stating whether they would assist in preserving Johnson’s position if the motion to vacate were to reach the floor.