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Mike Johnson Faces Pressure Over Ukraine Aid

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Here is what’s going on: House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is heading toward a vote on further aid for Ukraine, though it’s unclear exactly what that bill will look like in the end.

  • Remember: Democrats would need to support any aid plan, which might lead to a revolt from certain Republicans. Representative Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-GA) has already vowed to unseat Johnson as speaker if he permits a vote.

Why is it important? The financial issue for Ukraine serves as a stark reminder of both the significant fragmentation within the House Republican caucus and the vulnerability of Johnson’s speakership.

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Johnson’s role: When it comes to Ukraine, some have compared Johnson to a more socially conservative Mitch McConnell. Johnson has stated unequivocally that he supports the passage of another bill supporting Ukraine, standing with Democrats and the majority of Republicans in opposition to the hard-right caucus members who could endanger his job.

Johnson’s choices:

Do nothing: Republicans may embrace Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick’s (R-PA) measure, which mixes financing for Ukraine with the “Remain-in-Mexico” policy that the Biden administration finds unacceptable, and instead do nothing. Many Democrats, however, claim that his bill would not pass.

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Enact the Senate bill: A bill containing $60 billion for Ukraine was approved by the Senate. If Johnson permits a vote, the House would approve this, but it would probably end his tenure as speaker.

Pass his measure: Johnson has made hints that he could try to pass a bill that would provide Ukraine with a loan rather than a grant, as requested by Donald Trump, with funding coming from Russian assets that have been seized.

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