US President Mike Johnson says the House will vote this week on aid to Ukraine and Israel

0

Stay informed with free updates

The speaker of the US House of Representatives said the chamber will vote this week on separate bills to provide aid to Ukraine and Israel, a move that faces legislative hurdles but could end months of congressional inaction regarding support for kyiv.

Mike Johnson offered to vote on four separate bills, including funding for Taiwan and one that would impose more sanctions on Iran and allow Ukraine to profit from seized Russian assets, during a meeting with his Republican colleagues in the House Monday evening.

“We have terrorists, tyrants and terrible leaders all over the world, like Putin, Xi and in Iran, and they are watching to see if America will defend its allies and our own interests around the world, and we will ” Johnson said afterwards. the meeting.

“We presented a plan on how to finally address the additional situation,” he said, referring to an existing $95 billion bill to fund U.S. allies, which has was passed by the Senate in February but is blocked in the House.

“It’s a priority,” Johnson added, referring to his plan to vote on separate bills. “I expect it to be done this week.”

Johnson’s intervention came two days after Iran launched an attack on Israel, the United States’ closest ally in the Middle East – but also marked its first significant step to send more aid to kyiv to support its two-year war against Russian aggression.

U.S. allies in Europe and Ukrainian leaders have for months called on Congress to authorize increased aid to kyiv, warning that Ukrainian forces were running low on ammunition and could lose further ground against Russian forces without support. additional American.

As president, Johnson, an ally of former President Donald Trump, decides the House’s legislative agenda and has refused since February to vote on the joint aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

Johnson’s hesitation was seen in part as a reaction to opposition from Trump and other more isolationist Republicans to providing billions of dollars in additional aid to kyiv. On Friday, Johnson visited Mar-a-Lago to see Trump, who later told reporters he was “studying” an aid bill for Ukraine. Trump did not immediately comment on Johnson’s latest proposal Monday.

Johnson has faced increasing pressure in recent days from the White House as well as Senate Democrats and Republicans, who have urged Congress to act quickly in the wake of the Iranian attack on Israel.

But it remained unclear Monday whether Johnson’s proposal would garner enough support to pass by a divided Lower House, where Republicans have a slim majority, or a Democratic-controlled Senate.

Johnson will likely rely on House Democrats to vote in favor of the bills, given opposition to Ukraine funding from some Trump allies in the House Republican caucus.

“On the Republican side, the Ukraine issue is clearly the most controversial, I think, the one that gives rise to the most differences of opinion. . . I think the American people deserve to be told why it is in their best interest to help here,” he said.

Johnson’s presidency has been in trouble for weeks, ever since Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, openly opposed to aid to Ukraine, threatened to trigger a vote of no confidence in his leadership. On Monday, Johnson dismissed suggestions that Greene would try to oust him over his latest proposal, saying, “I don’t spend my time worrying about a motion to abandon.”

The White House did not immediately respond to Johnson’s proposal Monday evening. US President Joe Biden on Monday called on Congress to act on the additional aid bill, in welcoming remarks to Washington from Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala.

“We are determined to do our part,” Biden said. “But Congress must pass it. . . our bipartisan national security bill, and they must do it now.

T
WRITTEN BY

Related posts