RELEASE: Rep. Cloud Opposes Rule on Foreign Aid Without Border Security

Apr 19, 2024
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, Rep. Cloud voted NO on H.Res. 1160 — a rule to allow the House of Representatives to advance aid packages on Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, but with no serious effort to provide border security.

While Cloud joined 54 of his conservative colleagues in voting NO, ultimately, the rule passed 316-94. The rule passed with more Democrat support than that of Republicans — an extremely rare occurrence and a shocking deviation from usual procedure. 165 Democrats voted YES, while only 151 Republicans voted YES.

This week, House Republican leadership announced their intention to pursue three bills — H.R. 8034, H.R. 8035, H.R. 8036, and H.R. 8038 — to provide aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, as well as something called a “sidecar” provision to implement a ban on TikTok, among other minor provisions. Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus have been pushing Republican leadership to include serious border security measures within the combined rule, with the reason being that our government should put a priority on protecting our own southern border before sending money overseas. Additionally, because of the combined rule, if the House passed border security within the same rule, the Senate would be forced to combine both foreign aid and border security in order to advance the bill.

Unfortunately, leadership chose to bifurcate the border security issue from the foreign aid package — meaning they separated the border bill into a separate vote, ensuring the border security measures would eventually die in the Senate. Now, the Senate can pass foreign aid without having to even consider the southern border. This amounts to what conservatives have criticized as “failure theatre,” only voting on things for political cover or messaging rather than in a serious effort to make law.

There are also a number of grave concerns with the individual aid packages. For example, while the aid to Ukraine is structured as a “loan,” the bill gives the President extremely broad discretion to cancel 50% the debt after the November 2024 election, rendering it extremely unlikely that American taxpayers will ever see this money again. Furthermore, while Rep. Cloud has long supported military aid to our ally Israel, the bill providing Israel aid also includes $9 billion in aid to Gaza. There is overwhelming evidence that Hamas has stolen the vast majority of aid intended for innocent people in Gaza, and the bill contains little to no oversight mechanisms, meaning American taxpayers are essentially funding terrorists. This is completely unacceptable. Rep. Cloud introduced an amendment to give Israel coordination control over aid going into Gaza, as they have previously conducted much better oversight to ensure the aid goes to actual civilians, but House leadership rejected the amendment.

Rep. Cloud released the following statement:

“The uniparty is hard at work in Congress. My heart is heavy for our country, as I feel as though I’ve written the same thing over and over recently with the conduct of our government, but it is a sad day in America — and a stark reminder that the problems in Washington go well beyond one political party. Once again, Congress has failed to understand and work according to what should be our first priority: protecting our own country. Even as our own borders and our own people are suffering, House leadership just made it easier to send billions overseas without using valuable leverage we have to implement real border security. While I certainly understand the importance of helping innocent friends and allies in need, Congress should not be shipping billions overseas at the expense of the homeland. It’s wrong.

My conservative colleagues and I are evaluating next steps, but we will not be giving up. While trust in leadership may be deeply broken, I will continue to fight for serious border security and for substantive change to Washington.”

House leadership intends to vote on the aid packages on Saturday, April 20, after the rule advanced today.

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