House GOP threatens to beef up Speaker Johnson’s foreign aid package – and Johnson | National News


House Speaker Mike Johnson is on life support amid a tough battle to get desperately needed aid to Israel and Ukraine by Friday.

Instead of opting to pursue a single $95 billion aid package that had already passed the Senate, Johnson opted to split the package into four parts – separating the bills providing aid to Ukraine and Israel. But the hasty decision not to include border provisions has once again put Johnson on the hot seat.

The situation worsened on Tuesday when Republican Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky announced in a closed-door House Republican meeting that he would support a motion to vacate brought by Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, thereby stripping Johnson of the speakership. Will be taken.

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one in post on social mediaMassey compared Johnson’s position to that of former Republican House Speaker John Boehner, who resigned nearly a decade ago due to growing internal opposition. Massey said Johnson should “pre-announce his resignation (as Boehner did), so that we can elect a new president without ever having to be a GOP president.”

Johnson responded by refusing to follow his orders, saying he would not resign, describing himself as a “wartime orator”. He underlined the need for “steady leadership” and “steady hands on the wheel”. “I think it’s a ridiculous notion that someone would bring a motion to vacate when we’re just trying to do our job here,” he said.

With a possible motion to vacate his post coming in the next day or two, Johnson faces a huge challenge to save himself with this last legislative victory.

What did Johnson propose?

After a closed-door GOP leadership conference meeting, Johnson made public his plan to split the aid package into four parts. The parts would include aid packages for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan, as well as a measure that would ban TikTok and provide convertible loans for humanitarian relief. The full text of the bill is expected to be released by Tuesday evening.

A proposal circulated from the meeting The plan represents approximately $95.6 billion in assistance, with $48.43 billion earmarked for Ukraine, $14.1 billion for Israel, $2.4 billion for Red Sea operations, and $2.58 billion for the United States Indo-Pacific Command.

Israel’s price tag would include additional funding for missile defense, weapons replenishment and additional funding to allow the country to purchase American weapons. Ukraine’s price tag would set up a lend-lease program that would allow the Eastern European country to access funds backed by seized Russian assets. This will also include additional sanctions against Iran.

Johnson acknowledged on Monday evening that the provisions on aid to Ukraine were the most “controversial”, but underlined his confidence in the overall proposal.

“We will certainly follow the regular rules regarding House rules and amendments,” he said. “But I think the final product will be something that everyone can be confident in as they vote for their district.” You have to give and vote your conscience.”

Johnson said Monday night that he plans to allow House members to read the text of the bill for 72 hours before bringing it to the floor. Their current plan is to hold a procedural vote that would control all four bills, with the main aid packages getting their own say. Each proposal will then be voted on independently.

To entice more Republicans to fall in line, Johnson is allowing amendments to be offered to each proposal.

If the text is indeed released on Tuesday evening as he hopes, Johnson will get his wish of predicting a vote on Friday afternoon or evening. The House is currently scheduled to go on recess on Thursday afternoon till next week. But the bill text could change that in time.

Can Johnson even get votes on his bills?

Questions loom large over Johnson’s ability to get the job done as in-fighting within the GOP threatens to damage the traditional rules vote, a process that was once seamless. Typically, a House committee led by Republicans advances a bill to the full House and members vote for open debate. Once upon a time, those procedural steps were pro forma. But recently, GOP insurgents have made a practice of sabotaging bills they don’t care about by blocking them from reaching the House. In most cases, Democrats have shown little interest in casting votes that would help Republicans make progress on their bills. So with a razor-thin majority, even some Republicans could suddenly halt consideration of a bill with the intent to obstruct.

While a clear majority of Members across the House support the foreign aid package in principle, it remains to be seen whether the package Johnson has constructed can overcome the procedural hurdles and practical considerations.

It also remains to be seen whether the proposal gets the approval of the Senate and the White House or not.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday that the White House wanted to get more information on the proposal, adding that “at first glance it appears that the Speaker’s proposal actually allows us to provide aid to Ukraine, aid to Israel, and essential “Will help you get help.” Resources for the Indo-Pacific for a wide range of contingencies there.” The statement came days before Johnson announced Monday afternoon that the White House would oppose a standalone resolution.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell addressed the situation on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon, saying the Senate-passed bill would “further expand the capability of the arsenal of democracy.” He argued that U.S. adversaries are “really working together” and “anyone pretending that we can address these challenges individually, at our leisure, is only deluding themselves.” “

He said addressing threats to national security interests is not about fabricating “bogus justifications”. It’s about treating the world as it is,” adding that his “House colleagues will soon be on record as to whether they are really prepared to do that.”

McConnell’s harsh words came just a day after he reiterated his call for the Senate bill, saying “the consequences of failure are clear, devastating, and avoidable.”

Similar to McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he was “reserving judgment on what will come from the House until we see more about the substance of the proposal.”

Questions also remain over how much the final proposal will differ from the spending figures in the Senate’s $95 billion package and whether the four bills, if approved, will be sent to the upper chamber separately or together. Johnson said he would prefer to send each bill separately, but no final decision has been made.

While many in his party expressed support for the proposal, with Representative Mark Molinaro of New York calling it “thoughtful” and “a proper democratic process”, others spoke out against it. Many expressed displeasure over the lack of border provisions and threatened to abstain from voting for it.

The House Freedom Caucus opposed the plan, saying it would be tantamount to “using the emergency situation in Israel as a bogus justification for aid to Ukraine with no offset and no protection for our own open borders.” Is.

Its chairman, Representative Bob Good of Virginia, said that – while he supports the plan for a separate bill – Republican leadership would be “extremely disappointed” if border security was not added to it. Good said he would “wait to see what the rules look like” before deciding how to fall.

Republican Representative Byron Donalds of Florida threatened to withdraw his support without the border provisions, saying border security is a “no”. 1 issue in the country. And for this city to focus solely on Ukraine while they continue to ignore our southern border is atrocious, and it’s a slap in the face to the American people.

Republican Representative Cory Mills of Florida also threatened not to support the rule unless the bill was related to the southern border and included H.R. 1, House Republicans’ comprehensive energy package, which he said would be foreign. Can help pay for aid.

Radicals like Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Georgia and Florida are also jeopardizing the vote. Gaetz is urging party members to block the bills from going to the Senate even if they pass this week, in order to force Democratic leaders in the Senate to adopt the House border security bill, known as HR2. Can be forced. Greene, on the other hand, has already come out in opposition to the bill, saying she is “strongly against it.”

As time has passed, Johnson has now gone back to the drawing board to attempt to add acceptable border provisions.

As opposition grows and the noise grows louder, Johnson’s chances for success on his own diminish. Another failure to reach party consensus could once again result in a reprieve for House Democrats.

What does this mean for Johnson’s leadership?

Following Friday’s press conference with Donald Trump at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate, Johnson found his flex room expanding a bit after getting a much-needed stamp of approval.

But that shimmering room seems to have almost disappeared.

The shrinking began on Monday evening after Johnson announced his plan, with immediate opposition from the Greens. He said that although he had not decided whether to pursue his proposal, Johnson was “certainly not going to be speaker in the next Congress, if we are lucky enough to get a majority.” The contraction accelerated that evening after Gaetz joined the protest and accelerated with Macy’s announcement on Tuesday.

Some Democrats have raised the possibility of a lifeline for Johnson — if he continues to lead the way the chamber’s business is conducted. But even if it might save his job in the short term, if Democrats really need to save Johnson’s bill and save him from the proposal, he will face a similar fate to former Chairman Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted in a GOP coup. Was ousted – having deep differences with his party. And this could have long-term implications for their leadership. Their ability to release the text of the bill on time and a successful rules vote will determine their fate.


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