Democrats Float Discharge Petition to Overcome Mike Johnson’s Obstruction

Democrats Propose Discharge Petition to Get Past Mike Johnson

Senior Democrats are proposing the potential use of a discharge petition to push a $95-billion overseas aid bill to a vote in the House of Representatives if Speaker Mike Johnson continues to resist introducing it.

The bill cleared the Senate on Tuesday in a 70-29 vote, but it must also secure approval from the House before President Joe Biden can enact it into law.

Johnson has refrained from committing to bringing the bill to the House floor, which could impede its progress. Earlier this week, he criticized the legislation, which earmarks an additional $60 billion for military aid to Ukraine, arguing that it neglects to address what he considers the paramount issue of illegal immigration.

Mike Johnson
Mike Johnson (Credits: The Hill)

However, there’s a procedural avenue for the bill to reach the House floor through a discharge petition. This maneuver necessitates the support of 218 members, including at least four Republicans, to force a vote on the bill. Nonetheless, this process is unlikely to occur until later in the month due to the crowded congressional agenda.

Taking to social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, Democratic Representative Ami Bera stated, “If Speaker Johnson won’t bring this critical aid package to the floor, I stand ready to sign a discharge petition to get the job done. The world is watching.”

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi echoed this sentiment during an interview with CNN, saying, “Our leader, Hakeem Jeffries, said he has not ruled out using a discharge petition, which is a parliamentary maneuver to try and bring a bill to the floor.”

Several pro-Ukraine conservatives have also expressed support for the idea of a discharge petition, including Adam Kinzinger, a former Republican House representative and vocal critic of former President Trump. Kinzinger responded to comments from Johnson by calling for a discharge petition or for three Republicans to vote against every rule until Johnson agrees, asserting, “You will not win unless you fight fire with fire.”

Alyssa Farah Griffin, a conservative commentator who previously served as Donald Trump’s White House Director of Strategic Communications in 2020, endorsed the move, suggesting, “Great time for Mike Gallagher to lead a discharge petition effort to get aid to Ukraine, Israel, & Taiwan out the door.”

In a statement issued on Monday, Johnson criticized the aid bill under consideration in the Senate, emphasizing the importance of addressing border security.

He stated, “House Republicans were crystal clear from the very beginning of discussions that any so-called national security supplemental legislation must recognize that national security begins at our own border… In the absence of having received any single border policy change from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own will on these important matters. America deserves better than the Senate’s status quo.”

The aid bill, approved by the Senate on Tuesday, includes $60 billion in military aid for Ukraine, as well as $14 billion for Israel, $8 billion for Taiwan, and less than $10 billion for broader humanitarian assistance.

Last week, a bipartisan Senate bill, which would have included the aid package along with measures to bolster security along the southern border, was rejected by Republican hardliners, including Johnson, who deemed it inadequate in addressing illegal immigration.

I'm a geek by nature and writer by choice. I write so that I can inform others about whats going on in the entertainment industry. You can reach out to me at [email protected]