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Speaker Johnson faces pressure as US House reconvenes with Ukraine aid on the line

The US House reconvenes with pressure to pass military aid for Ukraine, but Speaker Johnson prioritizes government funding over the aid, potentially further delaying the assistance and benefitting Russia on the battlefield.
Mike johnson ukraine aid stalled republicans
The US House of Representatives speaker, Republican Mike Johnson. Photo: Mike Johnson via Instagram
Speaker Johnson faces pressure as US House reconvenes with Ukraine aid on the line

The US House of Representatives, Congress’s lower chamber, reconvenes in Washington on 19 March, facing heightened pressure to pass military aid to Ukraine but lacks a formal deadline and a clear strategy for passing it. The Hill reports that with only four days in session before a two-week holiday recess, supporters of Kyiv, including top Democrats, are urging House Speaker Mike Johnson to expedite the approval of the stalled Senate-passed Ukraine aid before the week’s end.

The foreign aid package has been stalled since last fall due largely to opposition from the far-right Republicans in the US Congress, suspending military assistance that Kyiv badly needs to fight Russia. The Senate passed a $95 billion foreign aid bill, including $60+ billion for Ukraine, last month with bipartisan support, yet Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson made clear he wouldn’t give it a vote on the House floorstating on 14 February that the House will not feel “rushed” to pass the package.

“We cannot go home for Passover and Easter — we must have this assistance to Ukraine,” former Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on CNN on 17 March.

Congress faces a Friday deadline to prevent a government shutdown, with Speaker Johnson prioritizing government funding over a foreign aid package and planning to address national security issues, including aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, as well as US-Mexico border security, only afterward, according to The Hill.

According to The Hill, on 13 March, Johnson said the House would send legislation to aid Ukraine, however, it would differ significantly from the $95 billion foreign aid package passed by the Senate last month.

Johnson suggested structuring the aid as a loan or lend-lease program so that “US taxpayers would not be providing billions without expectation of repayment,” The Hill reported, citing the senators who participated in the meeting.

The announced moves would further delay the critically needed aid, further benefitting Russia on the battlefield.

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