Fri. May 24th, 2024

House Republicans release aid bills for Israel and Ukraine, eyeing weekend House votes

By 37ci3 Apr17,2024



WASHINGTON — With a divided party and pressure to act, House Speaker Mike Johnson introduced three bills Wednesday to help them. Israel, Ukraine and Taiwanwith hopes of a final vote on Saturday.

The bills are a major test of Johnson’s ability to deal with political and global issues with his waffle majority. It comes as Johnson, R-La., faces serious threats to his gavel from Reps. Marjorie Taylor GreeneR-Ga., and Thomas MassieR-Ky.

That’s Johnson’s biggest problem Funding of Ukraine, an issue that has bitterly divided the GOP. He has been pushed by conservative security hawks who want to help Ukraine fend off Russian aggression, and a strong isolationist wing fueled by former President Donald Trump’s criticism of NATO and aid measures for Ukraine.

Many Republicans say they oppose any funding for Ukraine, meaning a significant number of Democrats will be required to push the measure through the finish line.

In a message to members before releasing the legislation, Johnson said, “There will be three bills that will fund America’s national security interests and allies in Israel, the Indo-Pacific and Ukraine, including a bill. loan structure for assistanceand enhanced strategy and accountability.”

According to him, the Republican leadership will come up with the amendment process along with the fourth bill REPO Act“Aims to Seize Russian Assets for Ukraine’s Benefit; Bill Passed in House of Representatives Ban TikTok in the US Unless you opt out of the owner located in China; as well as “sanctions and other measures against Russia, China and Iran”.

“We expect a final vote on these bills to take place Saturday evening,” Johnson said in a text message obtained by NBC News.

He also said a “border security bill that incorporates key components of HR2” — the conservative, House-passed immigration bill — would move under a separate process. The measure serves as a salve for reticent conservatives who resent the lack of domestic immigration provisions in the aid package.

A quick conservative push

On Wednesday, many House conservatives immediately hit back on social media after Johnson’s message came out, complaining that the border measures were not directly related to Ukraine funding.

“The Republican speaker of the House of Representatives is looking for a rule to divert almost $100 billion in foreign aid — sure to keep dangerous criminals, terrorists and fentanyl from crossing our border. The border ‘vote’ in this package is a dangerous veneer watered down. I will vote,” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, He wrote in X.

Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., the latest chairman of the hard-right Freedom Caucus: “Nothing short of tying aid to Ukraine to real border security would do what @SpeakerJohnson said a few weeks ago. voters demand more from us and deserve it.

Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, previously called aid to Ukraine unnecessary, saying: “I’m not giving them a nickel today, tomorrow or next week.”

“Putin is not going to Poland. I don’t care what you say. Except, anyway, it doesn’t matter because … when Donald Trump wins, Putin leaves. Putin is leaving Ukraine,” Nehls said without explaining his rationale before the release of the bill.

House Democrats have repeatedly called Johnson a The Senate passed the foreign aid package Instead, calling it the best way to get a bill on Biden’s desk — if not the only one. They sent a “quit petition” with 195 signatures to end Johnson’s candidacy and force a vote on the bill. It needs 218 votes to pass, meaning it will need the support of some Republicans in addition to Democrats.

At a meeting with Democrats on Wednesday, House Minority Whip Katherine Clark, D-Mass., told members they should use their “personal relationships” with Republicans to drum up support for the discharge petition, according to two people familiar with her comments.

Finance Minister Yellen increases the pressure

In a bilateral meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen plans to ease pressure on House Republicans to act.

According to a Treasury source, Yellen will say, “The failure of House Republicans to act for so long to support Ukraine at this critical point in the war is inexcusable and damaging to our national security.” “Each delay by House Republicans emboldens Putin and emboldens America’s enemies around the world, who are watching closely to see whether we maintain the United States’ resolve to support democratic Ukraine as it fights autocratic Russia.”

Meanwhile, Greene did not say when he might force a vote on a “vacation proposal” for the speaker’s seat, which would require a simple majority to remove Johnson from his job. His effort won a sponsor Tuesday in Massie, who predicted Johnson would be voted out.

It’s not clear if the votes are there to oust Johnson. Many conservatives, including those who voted to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, did not join the effort to oust Johnson. Some Democrats also said they would vote to protect Johnson from a bid to remove him from office.

But Massie said that would only hurt his standing with the GOP in the long run.

“Then he goes further with the Republicans. It becomes toxic to the conference. For every Democrat who comes to his aid, he’s going to lose another 2-3 Republicans,” Massie said. “It doesn’t have much of a shelf life after that.”

On Tuesday, Johnson called it “absurd” when asked about the threat to his racket, saying he was “not bothered” by the move and would continue his work.





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