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Senate Conservatives Encourage House GOP to Undermine Speaker’s Ukraine Strategy

Speaker Mike Johnson (Credits: Responsible Statecraft)

Senate conservatives, led by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), are urging House Republicans to oppose Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-La.) procedural tactic of breaking an emergency foreign aid package into four separate pieces.

They argue that this tactic is a “sham” and would result in the House passing an aid package nearly identical to the $95 billion bill passed by the Senate in February, which most Republican senators opposed.

The bill includes funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. In a letter sent to House GOP colleagues, the senators warned that voting for the rule would effectively support the Senate-passed supplemental bill, which a majority of Senate Republicans already rejected. They argue that this process would allow leadership to steamroll the priorities of rank-and-file members.

Speaker Mike Johnson (Credits: Los Angeles Times)

Sens. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) signed the letter alongside Lee. Despite their efforts, 55 House Republicans voted against the rule on Friday morning, but it passed with a large bipartisan majority of 316-94 due to House Democrats stepping in to support Johnson.

Lee and other Senate conservatives warn that the rule allows the House to pass separate bills for Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel, which would then be combined into a single package and sent to the Senate without requiring a vote on the final combined package.

Speaker Mike Johnson (Credits: The Hill)

They argue that this tactic, previously used by Speaker Pelosi, would not require border security provisions to be included with Ukraine funding.

Instead, the watered-down border security provisions would be sent to the Senate in a separate legislative vehicle that would likely be ignored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and never considered on the floor.

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