Johnson sets up Ukraine showdown vote

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Speaker Mike Johnson

By CASEY HARPER | THE CENTER SQUARE

The U.S. House is expected to vote on funding for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan this weekend, a controversial climax to months of battling in both chambers.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has arranged the vote for this weekend, likely on Saturday, despite calls from many in his own party to abandon funding for Ukraine, which is set to receive about $60 billion in foreign aid in its war against Russia’s invasion if the measure passes this weekend.

Johnson will almost certainly need Democrat votes to pass the spending this weekend, which he could obtain, but possibly at the expense of his job.

The Senate passed a $95 billion foreign aid package earlier this year with some Republican support, though many Republicans have said they will not support funding of this kind without serious border protections. Republicans and Democrats, though, have not been able to come to an agreement on provisions to address the border crisis.

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, has been among the outspoken Republicans calling for stronger border provisions.

“To the wealthy Americans all excited about funding Ukraine & war – in the past we increased taxes on the wealthy to pay for such things…,” Roy wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “I look forward to your patriotic advocacy to pay more taxes to fund war.”

The spending plan up for a vote includes about $8 billion for the Taiwan region and $26.4 billion for Israel, which launched an attack on Iran late Thursday, the latest in ongoing exchanges and escalations between the two Middle East powers.

Ratcheting tensions between Israel and Iran is largely what pushed the vote for more funding up to this weekend.

Meanwhile, Johnson faces growing calls for his removal from the Speakership, a now-volatile position.

Under existing rules, just one member of of the House can file a motion to vacate the speakership. Earlier this week, Johnson expressed his disapproval of that rule but said he won’t change it, at least for now.

“Since the beginning of the 118th Congress, the House rule allowing a Motion to Vacate from a single member has harmed this office and our House majority,” he wrote on X. “Recently, many members have encouraged me to endorse a new rule to raise this threshold. While I understand the importance of that idea, any rule change requires a majority of the full House, which we do not have.”

In the battle over Ukraine funding, Roy and others have also pointed to the increasing national debt, which is barreling toward $35 trillion.

As The Center Square previously reported, the International Monetary Fund warned the U.S. this week about that debt, federal spending, and the inflation that goes with it. Earlier this year, in February, the U.S Government Accountability Office released a report echoing those concerns.

Despite concerns about the debt, Republicans have largely rallied around the border crisis, insisting that addressing the problems at the southern border come before funding for Ukraine.

“We are here to deliver wins for the American people,” Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., wrote on X. “We can’t talk about funding Ukraine while we do nothing about the border.” 

19 COMMENTS

  1. Johnson may win this battle, but probably at the cost of his job. And probably costing the GOP the House as well.

    The Democrats are laughing, and who can blame them?

  2. Amazing how we have to bargain in congress to protect the security of the United States. All the while, our media is either mum or pro Palestinian and whitewash to Israel attack on Iran. Israel took out the air defense system at Iran’s nuclear facility. They showed up with some F35s and said…..we can do anything we want and you can’t stop us. Notice how Iran is downplaying it, hoping the world doesn’t recognize how badly they stepped in it.

  3. “A-Typical” … Infected and Blinded with power and influence, resulting in a complete absorption of chronic NARCISSIM. A self-inflicted cancerous disease that’s completely uncurable. A perfect example is our own … Daddy’s Little Princess!

  4. Johnson is pathetic. Can’t wait until he’s tossed out. $35 trillion in debt, almost, and these absolute morons want to give away $100 billion, and do nothing about the open border.

    Scum. All of them.

  5. Washington GOP is so infected with neocon warmongers and careerist pols who spend a lifetime basking in the imperial projects and pretensions of the world’s “war capital” they have lost any way back. We now have the shameful moment when a republican speaker seeks to pass Biden’s agenda through close consultation Chuckie (“Six Ways From Sunday”) Schumer to the exclusion of his colleagues and the majority of republican voters. It is shameful when the Freedom Caucus posts a rotating guard to block sneaky leadership moves.

    The establishment types will at best manage the decline of the party into Whig status. The only way forward is through and it is going to be painful as new leaders rise. What we are witnessing- and part of- is a knife fight to see who controls the party and the direction it takes.

  6. It is funny how most of those in our corrupt and illegitimate Congress are SO much more concerned about protecting the borders of Ukraine and Israel than they are about protecting our OWN borders, particularly as the southern border continues to undergo a massive invasion through it.

    Cut off ALL funding for Ukraine and Israel!

    • What amazes me is the sheer hypocrisy. If they want to fund other issues and have us support it, throw the serfs a bone and spend money on us as well.

      Maybe, here’s a radical idea, fund us first, then send money elsewhere.

  7. What frequently gets lost on those who do not understand government, politics, or simple math is that you have to have the numbers on your side to affect change. This has been the case since before the founding of our government and is seen throughout our founding documents. If you don’t have the votes you need to get more votes to pass your agenda, if you want the other guys agenda to pass then you do what a small number of commentators here suggest and attack attack attack until the other guy gets the numbers and passes his agenda. Many people that are claiming to be on the right are clearly fighting against those on the right, some elected Representatives have fooled conservative leaning folks to repeatedly vote for them while they align and even vote more in line with leftists than conservatives. They even pay lipservice to conservative causes while using them to torpedo actual conservative or right leaning causes or legislation…the same holds true for a small handful of commentators here, the left calls it gaslighting they are well versed in it and they use this tactic to exploit people.

    The silent majority needs to come to the realization that they are being exploited, ignored, and abused. Until that happens and people stop believing the lies and gaslighting from the left attacking conservatives and folks that lean right feeds into exactly what the left wants.

  8. The new your times and cnn are monitoring mrak. They were all reporting no significant damage in iran, and as soon as I started reporting that an air missile took out a radar sight and taught
    iran a lesson, they changed their tune.

  9. One week the GOP controlled Congress re authorizes 702 FISA warrantless searches of everyone’s phones, texts, Emails and social media. The mega data is collected by Federal agencies directly and through private “contractors” using AI, like Google, who use this information for profit and ban individuals deemed subversive from free speech. We are living in a fascist (corporate/government merging for top down control) police state. The next week the GOP authorizes printing billions more for their foreign money laundering operations. Our weapon systems (Abraham’s tanks, Patriot air defense, ect) are outdated for actual modern warfare. There are no more 155 mm shells to send for the few M777 howitzers left in Ukraine. In any event the Ukranians need 152 mm shells. Our Military Industrial Complex is unable to produce weapon systems and ammunition at the scale and pace for the real war we started, underestimating Russias ability to respond to the US/NATO aggression. Even hard core Ukranian units like the 67th Mechanized Brigade, whose members are full on NAZI skin heads involved in burning people alive during the US sponsored Maidan coup are refusing to fight. The entire Zelinskii regime is ready to collapse yet we send more money we don’t have. Maybe the US should end recognizing Taiwan as a province of China before starting another war. Just saying, we might repatriate industry in our country before starting yet another war. Fire 40 of the 44 current 4 Star Generals, they are incompetent. End the corruption by banning generals from working for private arms corporations.

  10. Johnson buckled not only to Democrats, but to his own ambitious staff that has linkages to Ukrainian businesses. $$$$.
    MTG is right again.

  11. From ” Possible Delay in Ukrainian Pensions and Salaries if Western Aid Falls Short
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    The delay would impact the salaries of 500,000 civil servants, 1.4 million teachers, and pensions for 10 million pensioners
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    “Ukraine might have to postpone payments to civil servants and pensions if the expected financial aid from the West is not received in early 2024, Yulia Sviridenko, Ukraine’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister, told Financial Times, emphasizing the critical need for prompt assistance to avoid potential economic setbacks.”
    (‘https://www.kyivpost.com/post/26029) December 27, 2023, 5:06 pm
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    Speaker Johnson is saying Americans have to pay for Ukrainian pensions and salaries mostly so Ukrainian pensioners and salarymen don’t go broke and mad at the same time and take their frustrations out on the guy who knows –all about– the Biden family’s Ukrainian deals?

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