US Senate’s top Republican McConnell urges House vote on foreign aid

By Thomson Reuters Mar 12, 2024 | 2:16 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday urged House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson to hold a vote on a $95 billion security assistance package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

“I want to encourage the speaker again to allow a vote,” McConnell told reporters at his weekly press briefing. “Let the House speak.”

McConnell was also asked about a proposal to offer assistance to Ukraine as a loan, not a grant. He responded that it is important to act quickly, which would mean not changing the legislation the Senate passed in February.

“The only way to get relief to the Ukrainians and the Israelis quickly is for the House to figure out how to pass the Senate bill,” he said.

“Anything that’s changed and sent back here, as you all know, even the simplest thing can take a week in the Senate. We don’t have time for all of this. We’ve got a bill that got 70 votes in the Senate. Give members of the House of Representatives an opportunity to vote on it. That’s the solution,” McConnell told reporters.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan, Patricia Zengerle, Katharine Jackson; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)