Conservatives stew, Dems mull help as foreign aid takes House spotlight

The House Rules Committee recessed late Wednesday without passing a rule that would tee up consideration of border security legislation, an ominous sign as Speaker Mike Johnson eyes weekend passage of foreign aid for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan.

That panel comes back at 10 a.m. to try and tee up those foreign aid votes.

Conservatives are peeved — to put it mildly — at the plan. The three most prominent on the Rules panel — Reps. Chip Roy (Texas), Thomas Massie (Ky.) and Ralph Norman (S.C.) — wouldn’t go along with a rule for the border package. That went down like a lead balloon among others in their conference.

“The three members who refuse to support the Speaker’s agenda should resign from the Rules Committee immediately,” Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “If they refuse, they should be removed immediately. They are there on behalf of the conference, not themselves.”

“Sorry, not sorry, for opposing a crappy rule that is a show vote / cover vote for funding Ukraine instead of border security,” Roy replied late Wednesday.

Johnson himself said threats of a motion to oust him from the speakership wouldn’t affect how he handled the foreign aid package. “My philosophy is you do the right thing and you let the chips fall where they may,” he told reporters late Wednesday. “If I operated out of fear of a motion to vacate, I would never be able to do my job.”

House Democrats gather at 9 a.m. to discuss the path forward on foreign aid. If they went along with the unusual step of supporting a GOP rule on the floor, Johnson would likely be able to overcome GOP defections.

On the docket today: A resolution condemning last weekend’s attack on Israel by Iran. First and last votes are slated for around 10:15 a.m.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Capitol, senators are due to take the first procedural vote on a reauthorization of a controversial surveillance tool, known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, with a looming April 19 expiration deadline. That’ll happen around 1 p.m.

One day after Senate Democrats disposed of articles of impeachment against him, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas appears before the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee at 10 a.m.