Mike Johnson doubles down on Israel-only aid package, urges Senate GOP to get on board
President Joe Biden in late October, sent Congress a $106 billion funding request, including the aid for Israel and $61 billion for Ukraine.
House Speaker Mike Johnson has urged Republican lawmakers to back the lower chamber's plan to pass a standalone aid bill to support Israel amid the conflict with Hamas, insisting he would address Ukraine aid separately.
Earlier this week, Johnson announced a Republican bill to provide $14.3 billion in aid to Israel as well as matching cuts to the Internal Revenue Service to offset the expense. The plan puts him in conflict with the Biden White House and Senate leadership in both parties, who hope to bundle Israel aid with additional support for Ukraine.
Johnson met with Senate Republicans on Wednesday, during which he informed them that he planned to hold a House vote on the Israel bill on Friday, The Hill reported. He further reiterated his support for aiding Ukraine but insisted that any aid to Kyiv must be paired with funding to bolster border security.
President Joe Biden in late October, sent Congress a $106 billion funding request, including the aid for Israel and $61 billion for Ukraine. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have both backed the effort to keep them together, even as national support for funding Kyiv has slipped significantly.
"He repeated what I think he said on television shows, which is that he thinks there needs to be another Ukraine aid package, and he wants to do that," Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley said after the meeting. "He emphasized that from his perspective of his majority, he said he has to separate them. He cannot get his majority to pass them together."
Johnson further indicated that he hoped to pass a stopgap spending package ahead of the mid-November deadline to avert a government shutdown, so as to allow the lower chamber more time to hammer out a full budget for 2024.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.