House Republicans may block a hefty Ukraine aid package


Republican and Democratic senators have engaged in a series of negotiations regarding President Joe Biden’s proposed $100 billion package for Ukraine. Senate leaders, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), have expressed optimism about the bipartisan Ukraine aid-border security agreement’s prospects.

Last year, the multi-billion packages for Ukraine, as well as aid for Israel and the island of Taiwan, became stuck in the US Congress after the GOP deemed the border security issue to be an absolute priority.

According to Blaise Malley, a reporter for Responsible Statecraft and a former associate editor at The National Interest, it is uncertain whether the House of Representatives would align with the upper chamber’s position, despite the bipartisan agreement on border issues being on the horizon.

Malley referred to House Speaker Mike Johnson’s firm stance with regard to the implementation of sweeping migration reforms and his concerns about Ukraine aid oversight and Kiev’s strategy.

“We need the questions answered about the strategy, about the endgame and about the accountability for the precious treasure of the American people,” Johnson told journalists after a January 17 meeting with President Biden and other congressional leaders at the White House. The House speaker also stressed that the border issue should still come first. Rep. Johnson has a record of consistently voting against Ukraine aid in the past.

A GOP conference on Ukraine aid is due to be held on January 24 following the request by a group of Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Malley noted, adding that support for further bankrolling Ukraine is beginning to steadily wither among House Republicans.

What’s more, some GOP lawmakers even threatened to introduce a “motion to vacate” against the incumbent House speaker, if he allows another package of Ukraine aid to pass.

“Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tells me ‘I would introduce the motion to vacate myself’ if Speaker Johnson passes funding to Ukraine,” Axios congressional reporter Andrew Solender tweeted on January 17.

Last October, the so-called Freedom Caucus forced then-Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy to step down after Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida forced the vote on the “motion to vacate.”

According to Malley, Speaker Johnson is unlikely to go against the Freedom Caucus for many reasons, one of which is that it may upend his relations with leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The RS reporter pointed out that 18 Senators on January 19 announced their support for an amendment to the national security supplemental that would require “that the weapons received by any country under this bill are used in accordance with US law, international humanitarian law and the law of armed conflict.”


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