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Monday, June 24, 2024

Oh? Johnson Now Says He Backs Ukrainian Funding, Biden’s Govt Funding

'Listen — for me it's just numbers. I cannot do them together...'

(Luis CornelioHeadline USA) Newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., affirmed his support for funding directed towards Ukraine and a federal government funding extension through Jan. 15, during a meeting with Senate Republicans on Wednesday.  

According to a media report, Johnson’s pledge seems to be a calculated effort to find common ground with Senate Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senators guided by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., as both sides voiced opposition to a stand-alone bill in Israeli aid. 

McConnell sought to link aid to Israel with funding for both Ukraine and Taiwan, as well as funding for border security. Meanwhile, Schumer dismissed House Republicans’ funding for Israel. The White House emphasized President Joe Biden’s willingness to veto such legislation. 

While Johnson had hinted at supporting Ukrainian funding in an earlier interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, his confirmation during the recent Senate meeting signals a firm commitment to Ukraine, which found itself embroiled in a corruption scandal during its war with Ukraine.

According to Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Johnson declared that Ukrainian funding and U.S. border security negotiations are “inextricably intertwined.” 

Speaking to Politico, Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., warned that if Johnson proceeded with the agendas of both McConnell and Schumer, it could thwart his speakership. 

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., echoed Marshall’s recounting of the meeting with Johnson, saying, “He said over and over, ‘Listen — for me it’s just numbers. I cannot do them together.’” 

Beyond Ukrainian aid, Johnson also voiced his backing of extending funding for the Biden government, proposing a timeline that would secure funding through Jan. 15, along with a mere 1% reduction in spending. This proposition came as the deadline for government funding looms in November. 

Johnson’s firm position marks a slight departure from the actions of his predecessor, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who faced backlash and eventual removal from his speakership for collaborating with Democrats on a stop-gap bill, compromising Republican priorities in the process. 

McCarthy failed in attaining votes for a GOP stopgap bill that would have forced Biden and Senate Democrats to make concessions. He faced criticism after failing to remove Ukrainian aid from the bill, a move he eventually agreed on but walked back a day later. 

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