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US House Speaker Mike Johnson pushes for Israeli aid this week, leaves Ukraine support uncertain

US House Speaker Mike Johnson seeks to secure aid for Israel following Iran’s air attack, with ongoing uncertainty about extending support to Ukraine amid Congressional delays and his unclear stance on whether to bundle or separate these aid efforts.
Mike johnson ukraine aid stalled republicans
The US House of Representatives speaker, Republican Mike Johnson. Photo: Mike Johnson via Instagram
US House Speaker Mike Johnson pushes for Israeli aid this week, leaves Ukraine support uncertain

On 14 April, US House Speaker Mike Johnson stated he would push for aid to Israel this week after Iran’s extensive drone and missile attack, without confirming if the bill includes support for Ukraine or other US allies, Reuters reports. At the same time, AP notes that Johnson is going to advance the Israel assistance “as he attempts the difficult task of winning House approval for a national security package that also includes funding for Ukraine and allies in Asia.” Reuters says Johnson mentioned two unsuccessful attempts to pass standalone aid for Israel, not specifying if he would try the same again.

For more than six months, US Congressional Republicans have been blocking the US foreign aid package, which includes military assistance to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. The Senate approved a $95 billion bill in February, including over $60 billion for Ukraine and $14.1 billion for Israel, but House Speaker Mike Johnson has delayed bringing it to a vote, citing the need not to rush. There is no set date for a House vote yet. Moreover, House Republicans are considering amendments or drafting a new version, which would require Senate re-approval following the vote.

Now, in response to Iran’s first direct drone and missile attack on Israel, the White House and key Senate leaders from both parties urged Speaker Johnson to advance a bipartisan $95 billion aid package quickly.

“We’re going to try again this week, and the details of that package are being put together right now. We’re looking at the options, and all these supplemental issues,” Johnson told Fox News, according to Reuters, saying that the his office declined to provide further details.

The speaker claimed on Fox News that he and other Republicans “understand the necessity of standing with Israel” and he would try this week to advance the aid, as per AP.

Earlier, Johnson declined to advance the Senate’s bill, opting instead to draft his own legislation that structures Ukraine aid as a loan, a move influenced by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to Reuters.

He and I are 100% united on these bigger items,” Johnson said of Trump, after he met with him on 12 April in Florida, Reuters says.

Other Republicans aren’t clear either

Should the House pass its own version of the foreign aid bill different from the Senate’s, it would necessitate another round of Senate approval, further delaying the stalled aid as Ukraine faces severe ammunition shortages.

Johnson’s comments followed House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, the chamber’s second-ranking Republican, stating that the House will address Iran’s attack with “legislation that supports our ally Israel and holds Iran and its terrorist proxies accountable,” though he did not provide specifics and didn’t mention Ukraine.

Republican allies of Ukraine anticipated a larger supplemental aid bill for Kyiv this week. House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Rep. Michael McCaul, speaking to CBS, mentioned Johnson’s commitment to presenting a broader aid package soon, though he did not specify a date, expressing his preference for this week, as per Reuters.

Republican Rep. Mike Turner, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, stated on NBC that Johnson “has made it clear” that he sees a path to bring funding for Israel, Ukraine, and Asian allies to the House floor this week, according to AP.

Republican Congressman anticipates Ukraine aid approval within a week

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