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Speaker Johnson Faces a Critical Moment Regarding Ukraine

Speaker Mike Johnson (Credits: Rolling Stone)

After months of delay, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is preparing to wade into the contentious debate surrounding Ukraine aid, a volatile issue that carries implications for both the sovereignty of Kyiv and Johnson’s own Speakership.

Since assuming the gavel in October, Johnson has pledged to advance further military assistance for Ukraine in its struggle against Russia. However, domestic priorities with pressing deadlines, such as government funding and foreign surveillance powers, have taken precedence, pushing the Ukraine aid issue to the back burner.

With these priorities now addressed, Johnson is turning his attention to a package of emergency foreign aid, including support for Ukraine, Israel, and Indo-Pacific allies. According to sources from both parties, this package is expected to be brought to the floor for consideration next week.

Mike Johnson (Credits: Axios)

Despite widespread bipartisan support for the legislation, Johnson faces challenges within his own party. He has already faced criticism from conservative members for cooperating with President Biden on previous deals, and there are concerns that another such agreement on Ukraine aid could trigger a backlash.

On the Democratic side, there are calls for a vote on a Senate bill totaling $95 billion, which includes aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, along with humanitarian assistance for Gaza. Democrats insist that the House must consider the Senate bill to provide support for Ukraine.

The Speaker’s strategy for changing these challenges remains unclear. Some Republicans advise him to accept that not everyone will be satisfied and focus on advancing a bill through the divided House.

Johnson is committed to addressing the Ukraine aid debate despite the potential political risks, as lawmakers, administration officials, and global leaders stress the urgent need for additional military assistance to Ukraine.

However, the Speaker’s approach to altering the Senate bill, and whether it will be presented as a single package or split into pieces, remains uncertain.

Mike Johnson

Mike Johnson (Credits: The Hill)

Johnson’s handling of the Ukraine aid issue is closely watched, particularly regarding his stance on including border security policies in the foreign aid bill. Democrats oppose any changes to the Senate bill, while Johnson insists on including border reforms, which could trigger a conservative backlash.

The Speaker’s decisions on these matters are crucial, as they could determine his political future and the fate of the Ukraine aid package. Despite mounting pressure and conflicting demands, Johnson remains determined to change the legislative challenges ahead.

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