Mike Johnson Triples Down on Mortgaging American Future to Pay Off Ukrainian Leader Volodymyr Zelensky

Mike Johnson
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Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) announced that the House will vote Saturday night on a yet-to-be-released foreign aid package that includes tens of billions of dollars for Ukraine.

Johnson texted House Republicans late Wednesday morning that he would soon release the text of three bills to fund “America’s national security interests and allies,” reported Juliegrace Brufke of Axios, with votes on final passage Saturday night.

Those three bills to fund Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan will be packaged with a fourth bill that combines the “REPO Act, TikTok bill, sanctions and other measures to confront Russia, China, and Iran” into a single rule — a parliamentary product specifying which legislation heads to the House floor as well as time and amendment considerations.

By combining the four bills into a single rule, Johnson gives the House the binary choice of allowing votes on all four bills or none. The rule, as well as the four individual bills, each only need majority support to pass.

Breitbart News previously laid out Johnson’s scheme, which was elaborately engineered to allow him to bring Ukraine funding to the floor over the objections of conservatives:

[Johnson] appears to be exploiting the urgency of aiding Israel — a popular cause within his conference and among most House Democrats — to unleash Ukraine funding. By lumping multiple issues which animate large blocks of each party’s base, Johnson might be gambling he can woo Democrats to cross the aisle and vote for a Republican rule, consolidate Republican support, and protect his speakership.

On the Republican side, by including multiple pieces of legislation in the lone rule vote, Johnson is hoping to entice anti-Ukraine Republicans who don’t want to block aid to Israel to vote for the rule. Importantly, he also could insulate himself from criticism from conservatives — most notably [Rep. Marjorie Taylor] Greene (R-GA) — who might otherwise oust him from the Speaker’s office for bringing a standalone rule vote on Ukraine.

With the four-subject rule, Johnson can claim Ukraine aid’s inclusion was necessary for other priorities — most notably, Israel — and that his plan allowed each Member the opportunity to oppose the stand-alone Ukraine aid.

On the Democrat side, Johnson could be relying on the complexity of the House’s parliamentary procedure. It is incredibly unusual for an opposition party to vote for a majority party’s rule — either in the Rules Committee or on the House floor — even if the opposition supports the underlying legislation. But Johnson could hope that enough Democrat members will make the rare crossover on a rule vote to avoid endeavoring to explain parliamentary ins-and-outs to constituents angry that their Congressman blocked a vote on such highly motivating issues like aid to Israel and Ukraine.

Although Johnson’s move allows each of the four bills to receive standalone votes, the structure of the rule will require that all four bills are lumped into one final package on the back end. Therefore, the House will only send one bill to the Senate, ensuring that either all or no aspects of the aid package are passed.

Lawmakers who want to help American ally Israel — reportedly to the tune of around $14 billion — will be asked to swallow sending more than three times that amount — more than $48 billion — to Ukraine.

In what appears to be an empty gesture to conservatives, Johnson also said he would release the text of “a border security bill that includes the core components of H.R.2, under a separate rule that will allow for amendments.” Since that bill is under a separate rule, it would not be included in the foreign aid package that would be sent to the Senate if Johnson’s scheme goes forward late Saturday night.

The House has already passed H.R. 2, a strong border security bill Johnson once insisted be included with any foreign aid package considered by the House — a position he abandoned in March. If the House votes a second time to pass a border security bill untethered to another piece of legislation the Senate desires, this border security bill would face certain death in the Senate, like H.R. 2.

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) posted on X:

Rumored course of action in the House: Combine Ukraine and Israel aid, with other Biden boondoggles. Send it all to the Senate as a combined package. Then let the House vote on a fake border security package that has no chance. Betrayal. And stupid politics to boot.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who has filed a motion to vacate that could expel Johnson from the Speaker’s office, appeared unmoved by Johnson’s announcement. She pointed out the House passed an aid bill to Israel in November 2023 that could be used as leverage to support Israel if that country, not Ukraine, was his priority.

“News flash for Speaker Johnson, we have already passed HR2, the Senate has it and refuses to secure our border, they want 5,000 illegals per day to come in,” she said. “The House passed $14 Billion for Israel aid in November and the Senate refuses to pass it. You, Speaker Johnson, voted against $300 million for Ukraine before we gave you the gavel along with the majority of Republicans.”

“No one understands why it is now your top priority to give Ukraine $60 billion more dollars. You are seriously out of step with Republicans by continuing to pass bills dependent on Democrats. Everyone sees through this.”

Johnson’s text to his colleagues ends with a message that he “look[s] forward to continuing our work together.”

That partnership might not continue much longer.

Bradley Jaye is a Capitol Hill Correspondent for Breitbart News. Follow him on X/Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.


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