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The Memo: Johnson Poised for a Challenging Win

Speaker Mike Johnson (Credits: The Hill)

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) appears poised to overcome opposition from hard-right members of his conference regarding several foreign aid bills, following a fierce battle.

To secure passage of the bills, which cover aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan while also addressing measures to alleviate the direct financial burden on American taxpayers, Johnson is expected to rely on Democratic support.

Democrats generally support the need for aid, particularly for Ukraine, and are unwilling to jeopardize it to exacerbate turmoil within the GOP. President Biden has thrown his weight behind the bills, totaling over $90 billion.

Speaker Mike Johnson (Credits: Los Angeles Times)

The House is scheduled to vote on the legislation on Saturday, with plans for the Senate to consolidate the aid-related bills into one piece of legislation for Biden’s signature.

Despite initial skepticism about Johnson’s leadership, particularly following the ousting of his predecessor, former Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Johnson has managed to change internal challenges, including threats from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

Greene had threatened a motion to vacate, potentially ending Johnson’s tenure, but Johnson received unexpected support from former President Trump after meeting with him at Mar-a-Lago.

Moderate Republicans have commended Johnson for standing up to Greene and other members supporting the motion to vacate, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing national interests over fringe elements within the party.

The aid package, which includes $61 billion for Ukraine, has faced some resistance from Republican voters, reflecting a shift in attitudes influenced by Trump’s “America First” agenda and wariness of foreign entanglements.

Despite this, prominent Republicans have emphasized the urgency of supporting Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression, highlighting the pivotal moment in global affairs.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (Credits: NBC Montana)

Johnson, referring to himself as a “wartime Speaker,” underscored his commitment to defending freedom and countering Russian aggression during a recent interview. However, his suggestion of changing rules around the motion to vacate sparked controversy among hard-liners within the party.

Johnson later clarified his position, indicating that any rule change would require majority support in the House.

While some Republicans remain dissatisfied with Johnson’s approach, particularly regarding border security measures, the majority seem willing to support him for now, recognizing the need for unity in the middle of recent turmoil within the party.

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