Johnson takes plunge on Ukraine aid in face of ouster threat

In a desperate effort to help beleaguered allies overseas, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) tore through his own conference, brazenly launched a massive foreign aid package that threatened the gavel, and slandered him. shaking off people.

Mr. Johnson has launched a multi-pronged strategy to provide military aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, with a comprehensive package of Republican national security priorities designed to appease cautious conservatives within the House Republican Party. , gained early Democratic support. He has confirmed that all four components will be voted on separately by the end of this week.

But the plan drew immediate opposition from hard-liners who attended his conference, including fiscal hawks who didn’t want to pile billions more into the nation’s debt. Isolationists who want to focus Washington’s resources on domestic issues. And a wide range of rank-and-file Republicans are demanding that the bill include increased security at the U.S. southern border, a notable exclusion from the speaker’s policy blueprint.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), a frequent critic of the House speaker, has already introduced a motion to remove the congresswoman from power, but the resolution would not be effective in the future of Ukraine. It’s on the ballot and waiting for Greene to force it through. floor. And on Tuesday, that threat became even more threatening when Rep. Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican with libertarian leanings, announced that he would support removing Johnson from office if Greene’s resolution was activated.

“Mike Johnson is trying to win the Triple Crown here against our home turf,” Massey said. “he, [Nancy] Pelosi.he put his finger on his scale to pass [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] without a warrant. And now he’s trying to do Ukraine without protecting America’s borders.

“It’s like three strikes.”

The growing threat has focused attention on Johnson’s precarious grip on the House Republican Party, which has been fought over by different ideological factions throughout the 118th Congress. Rebellious conservatives have already ousted one House member for not complying with their demands, and their supermajority leaves Republican leaders with little margin for error.

Still, Johnson received a major boost last week when he appeared with the former president at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and praised the embattled speaker, saying he had done a “very good job.” received.

And Mr Johnson himself dismissed efforts to expel him as “absurd” and “useless”.

“I’m not worried about this. I’m going to do my job and I think that’s what the American people expect of us.”

Despite all the rumors, he may have little to fear, at least in the short term.

Massey stressed that he had no intention of forcing a resolution to leave the chamber. And while Greene had previously suggested that floor action on Ukraine would prompt her to force a vote, she appeared to soften her stance this week.

While Green publicly criticized Johnson for breaking promises, particularly on the border issue, she also emphasized that she was carefully considering whether to force a vote on her resignation. The decision is complicated by Trump’s glowing reviews of the House speaker.

“We’re talking about it. We’ll see what happens. But I think the eviction motion is very serious, so I want to respond responsibly,” Green said. Told.

The hesitation has given Johnson some breathing room as he aims to pass a foreign aid bill through the House of Commons this week. And he is seeking early support from Democrats, who appear ready to embrace a four-vote strategy as long as the policy provisions do not deviate significantly from the Senate’s $95 billion aid package, which combines aid and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. I am getting . Assistance to Gaza and other global hotspots.

“If you just chopped everyone up, I think everything would pass, unless you put poison in it,” said Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.).

“If that breaks the deadlock, that’s a good thing,” agreed Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.).

The Republican response to the foreign aid plan is multifaceted and even more complex. Conservatives, meanwhile, have praised Johnson’s decision to suspend the amendment process and split his priorities into four bills, giving them the opportunity to support proposals they like and oppose those they don’t like. It will be given to you.

But those hardliners also blasted the border security exemption and the inclusion of a provision that combined the four measures into one package before being sent to the Senate. These two negatives will likely outweigh the positives. .

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also refused to accept amendments to the border, stoking dissatisfaction among conservatives.

“It’s fine to take individual subjects to the floor for granted. But if it’s all predetermined and you end up leaving the border, you’ve given up the entire point of the fight. , I reminded the Speaker of that, and this is public information, several times over the last six months he has said, “We should cross the border before Ukraine.” Congressman Chip Roy (R-Texas) told reporters Tuesday.

“The president is not going to include border security in his package,” said Congressman Bob Good (R-Va.), chairman of the Freedom Caucus. “That’s a big, big problem.”

Despite growing frustrations, no other Republicans have joined Greene and Massey in calling for their resignation, but some are keeping their cards close to their hearts.

Asked about the expulsion effort, Roy told reporters: “I’m not going to talk about that.” Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pennsylvania), a former Freedom Caucus chairman, didn’t rule out the possibility, but when asked about it, he said, “We’re far from it.” .

Meanwhile, many Republicans strongly oppose the expulsion effort. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, called the push “a complete waste of time and a completely ridiculous concept,” and Rep. Garrett Graves (R-Louisiana) I expected the operation to fail. .

Massey said the effort to oust Johnson would garner more support than the effort to fire McCarthy, which included eight Republicans and all Democrats.

“If he convenes today…he’ll lose votes, and he’ll lose more than Kevin McCarthy lost,” the Kentucky Republican said Tuesday.

“It’s not just the right side of the conference that’s upset with him. We’ve fallen into Lord of the Flies,” he added. “Just as there are no rules, just as there is no effect of disorder, there is no order.

“I don’t think his life experience is suitable for this job.”

Miranda Nazzaro contributed reporting.

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