US Aid to Ukraine Hangs on House Speaker Johnson as His Leadership Is Challenged by the Far Right

Credits: Rolling Stone

When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke with congressional leaders in Washington late last year, he shared a stark message: with U.S. weapons, Ukraine could win the war against Russia; without them, Putin’s victory was almost certain. This private conversation has now become public knowledge, highlighting the critical role of U.S. aid in the conflict.

In a subsequent meeting with House Speaker Mike Johnson, a deadline for supplying aid to Ukraine came into focus. Now, as U.S. aid for Ukraine hangs in the balance in Congress, it falls to Johnson to determine the next steps.

His leadership will determine whether the House approves more aid for Ukraine or if the U.S. commitment fades, potentially impacting the future of democracy in Kyiv.

House Speaker, Johnson (Credits: KTLA)

President Joe Biden has urged Congress to act swiftly, emphasizing the importance of supporting Ukraine. However, Johnson has stated that he won’t be rushed into approving the $95.3 billion foreign aid package from the Senate, despite bipartisan support.

While many in Congress see Putin as a global threat, Johnson has not committed to supporting Ukraine, even after the recent death of Alexei Navalny, a prominent Russian opposition figure. Johnson emphasized the need to cut off Putin’s funding for the war in Ukraine but has yet to outline a clear path forward.

As a new speaker facing challenges in uniting his fractured House GOP majority, Johnson’s leadership style has created a vacuum on Ukraine aid. Some, like Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, oppose additional aid to Ukraine, fearing it could escalate the conflict.

Despite overwhelming support for the aid package in the House, Johnson faces pressure from his party not to collaborate with Democrats.

There are proposals to scale back the aid package or seize Russian assets in U.S. banks to fund military aid to Ukraine. However, these ideas face challenges in gaining bipartisan support.

Democratic lawmakers, like Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, emphasize the urgency of supporting Ukraine and criticize Johnson’s hesitation. They argue that the House’s will is to approve the aid package and urge Johnson to act accordingly.

As Congress navigates these decisions, the fate of U.S. aid for Ukraine hangs in the balance, with Johnson at the center of the debate.

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