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Johnson announces he is moving forward with Ukraine aid bill amid pressure

via FOX

House Speaker Mike Johnson is facing pressure from both moderate and conservative Republicans over a foreign aid package that includes $95 billion for Ukraine, Israel, and humanitarian assistance.

While Johnson announced separate bills for Israel and Ukraine aid, the final package will likely be combined.

“After significant Member feedback and discussion, the House Rules Committee will be posting soon today the text of three bills that will fund America’s national security interests and allies in Israel, the Indo-Pacific, and Ukraine, including a loan structure for aid, and enhanced strategy and accountability,” Johnson said.

The package includes $61 billion for Ukraine and allies and $26 billion for Israel.

It takes “a long time to socialize and build consensus when you have the smallest majority in US history,” Johnson said.

“Look, we know what the timetable is,” he added. “We know the urgency in Ukraine and in Israel, and we are going to stand by Israel, our close ally and dear friend, and we’re going to stand for freedom and make sure that Vladimir Putin doesn’t March through Europe.”

“It’s a procedural matter here that I think has been abused in recent times,” he said. “Maybe at some point we change that, but right now, I got to do my job, and so do all my colleagues.”

Hardliners want to block the package, with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene threatening a motion to oust Johnson.

“The three members who refuse to support the Speaker’s agenda should resign from the Rules Committee immediately. If they refuse, they should be removed immediately. They are there on behalf of the conference, not themselves,” Rep. Mike Lawler said.

“You are seriously out of step with Republicans by continuing to pass bills dependent on Democrats. Everyone sees through this,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene wrote.

Johnson may need Democratic support to pass the bills and defeat any motion.

Democrats will support the package if it includes $9 billion in humanitarian aid.

“I strongly support this package to get critical support to Israel and Ukraine, provide desperately needed humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza, and bolster security and stability in the Indo-Pacific. Israel is facing unprecedented attacks from Iran, and Ukraine is facing continued bombardment from Russia that has intensified dramatically in the last month,” Biden stated.

The defense secretary urged passage, saying the battlefield is shifting in Russia’s favor.

“In terms of, you know, what happens going forward and how long Ukraine will be able to sustain its efforts, I think we’re already seeing things on the battlefield begin to shift a bit in in terms of in Russia’s favor,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said.

Johnson appears determined to move forward with the package despite the internal GOP opposition and threat to his position as speaker.

“Let’s just hope that that does not happen, and that we can do our responsibilities, protect and defend our own democracy as we protect theirs,” former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

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