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Johnson Keeps Moving Forward with Ukraine Help Bill Despite Pressure from Strong Opposers

Johnson Keeps Going with Ukraine Help Bill Despite Pressure from Strong Opposers
Mike Johnson, who speaks for others, said Wednesday he’s staying with his plan to put some foreign aid bills on the table. This includes money for Ukraine, even though he faced a lot of pressure from those who strongly oppose it.

“After talking a lot with other members and discussing, the House Rules Committee will soon share the words of three bills. These will give money for America’s safety and help friends like Israel, places in the Indo-Pacific, and Ukraine. This includes loans for help and better planning,” Johnson said in a note.

The three-part extra plan is much like the Senate’s plan in many ways. It has a bit more than $9 billion to help in places like Gaza and other spots with fighting, which was very important for Democrats. The total for all three bills together is about $95 billion, same as the Senate’s plan. But $10 billion of the money for Ukraine is in the form of a loan that they have to pay back. This kind of help is important for Ukraine’s government to keep going during a war.

These loans are about $7.9 billion for Ukraine and $1.6 billion for places in Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia. The president has to make a deal with Kyiv to pay back this money, but they could decide not to make Ukraine pay it back.

In total, the bill will give $61 billion to Ukraine and nearby friends, with $23 billion going to refill U.S. supplies. It also gives $26 billion to Israel and $8 billion to places in the Indo-Pacific.

The fight over these bills, and the chance that some members of the GOP might try to remove Johnson because of it, is the toughest situation he’s faced since taking the role. Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky said he’d help Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene try to remove Johnson from his role as speaker. But Johnson said he won’t step down.

When asked why they didn’t split the aid for Ukraine earlier, Johnson said it takes a long time to get everyone to agree, especially with a very small majority in history.

“We know things are urgent in Ukraine and Israel. We’ll support Israel, our close friend, and stand for freedom to stop Vladimir Putin from moving into Europe,” he added.

Johnson doesn’t seem worried about the threats to remove him from his role. He said he doesn’t think about it much and he needs to focus on his job and so do his friends.

Johnson Under Pressure
The loan plan for help comes after Johnson and former President Donald Trump met and talked in February. Trump said the U.S. shouldn’t give aid unless it’s a loan. Johnson got full support from Trump at a difficult time in his role as speaker.

Johnson said on Monday that the House will talk about separate bills this week to help Israel and Ukraine, following demands to keep these issues separate. But these bills are likely to be combined into one big package sent to the Senate.

Johnson has been under a lot of pressure to make changes to the foreign aid plan he proposed. Not just from very conservative members, but also from others. Some want a plan to help with border security before giving aid to other countries.

A few very conservative House Republicans didn’t like the idea of including a border bill with the foreign aid bills. They don’t agree with Johnson’s plans and have been trying to stop them.

In a vote on Wednesday, the House Rules Committee couldn’t agree on a rule for the GOP border security bill. Some Republicans even said they’d vote against it.

Some moderate Republicans are asking the ones who blocked the border bill to resign from their positions. They say these members are stopping Johnson’s plans.

Johnson’s border bill was meant to show he’s listening to his colleagues, but it seems like it’s not enough.

Greene, who wants to remove Johnson, said he’s not listening to what Republicans want.

Some Republicans are very upset with Johnson for moving forward with giving billions of dollars to Ukraine. They say it’s like giving up and they won’t support it.

A key test for the bills will come on Thursday when the House Rules Committee will decide if they should move forward. But some members who blocked the border bill might also block the rule for the foreign aid bill.

Democrats Might Be Needed
Since Republicans only have a small majority, Johnson might need Democrats to pass these bills. He might also need them to keep his job if there’s a vote to remove him.

House Democrats want to see if the aid package includes money for places like Gaza. During a meeting, a Democratic leader said they won’t accept less money for places in need.

President Joe Biden supports Johnson’s plan. He said it’s important to help Israel and Ukraine and give aid to places like Gaza.

The situation in Ukraine is getting worse, and the Defense Secretary said they need to pass the aid package to help them.

But Democrats are split on whether they should help Johnson stay in his role if there’s a vote to remove him. Some say they will help, but others aren’t sure.

If Johnson is removed, it could cause a lot of problems in the House, and nothing might get done until they pick a new speaker.

This story might change as we get more news.

CNN’s Manu Raju and Piper Hudspeth Blackburn helped with this report.

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