Mike Johnson Gets Squeezed on Ukraine Aid

A tiny majority is tying the Speaker’s hands.

What’s happening: Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) is moving toward a vote on more Ukraine aid — though what that bill will ultimately look like remains a mystery.

  • Keep in mind: Any aid bill would require Democratic support, which could trigger an uprising from some Republicans; Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-GA) has already threatened to remove Johnson from the speakership if he allows a vote.

Why it matters: The difficulty around Ukraine funding highlights the fragility of Johnson’s speakership and the extremely fractured nature of the House Republican conference.

Johnson’s role: Some have portrayed Johnson as a more socially conservative Mitch McConnell when it comes to Ukraine. Johnson has made clear that he wants another Ukraine funding bill to pass, aligning with Democrats and most Republicans, but against the caucuses’ hard-right who may threaten his job.

Johnson’s options:

  1. Do nothing: Republicans could support Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick’s (R-PA) bill, which combines Ukraine funding with the “Remain-in-Mexico” policy the Biden administration opposes. However, many Democrats say his bill would be a non-starter.

  2. Pass the Senate bill: The Senate passed a bill with $60 billion for Ukraine. This would pass the House if Johnson allows a vote — but would likely doom his speakership.

  3. Pass his own bill: Johnson has hinted he may attempt a bill giving Ukraine a loan — demanded by Donald Trump — instead of a grant, with the aid coming from confiscated Russian assets.

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