House Speaker Caught In GOP Crossfire: If He Moves On Ukraine, Is That The End Of Mike Johnson?

By Maria Angelino | Thursday, 11 April 2024 03:00 PM
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In a recent interview, President Biden expressed his concerns about the reluctance of House Speaker Mike Johnson to pass an additional aid package for Ukraine.

The President suggested that Johnson's hesitation might be due to the influence of former President Donald Trump on the Republican Party.

"I'm hoping that the speaker of the House begins to use, has the courage to do what he, I'm confident, he knows what has to be done," Biden told Univision News. He further speculated that Johnson might be apprehensive about losing his position as Speaker due to the peculiar dynamics within the Republican House.

The President emphasized the transformation of the Republican Party, stating, "This is not your father's Republican Party, as that old saying goes." He asserted that Trump continues to exert significant control over the party, describing it as a "death grip."

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Biden also highlighted the necessity for Congress to approve additional support for Kyiv in its struggle against Moscow. He stated that his capacity to provide further aid through executive action has been exhausted.

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"If we had a vote tomorrow, if the new speaker of the House of Representatives had the guts to call for a vote and on Ukraine, it would pass overwhelmingly and the majority of Republicans in both House and Senate would vote for it," the President said.

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In February, the Senate approved a $95.3 billion foreign aid bill to assist Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. However, Johnson cautioned that the House would not consider the measure for a vote, following Trump's opposition to it.

"WE SHOULD NEVER GIVE MONEY ANYMORE WITHOUT THE HOPE OF A PAYBACK, OR WITHOUT 'STRINGS' ATTACHED. THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA SHOULD BE 'STUPID' NO LONGER!" Trump posted on Truth Social.

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Johnson has suggested that he might reconsider the issue this week as the House returns from its Easter recess. However, his potential support for the funding has been met with threats of a vote on his removal by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

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Greene told CNN last week, "I'm not saying I have a red line or a trigger, and I'm not saying I don't have a red line or trigger. But I'm going to tell you right now — funding Ukraine is probably one of the most egregious things that he can do."

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On Tuesday, Greene renewed her efforts to form an anti-Johnson coalition by sending a letter to her fellow Republicans. In the letter, she criticized Johnson for prioritizing Ukraine funding when he had opposed it less than seven months ago.

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Johnson, who assumed his speaker role in October, previously told The Post that he had delayed Ukraine aid because he wanted to first pass funding for the federal government through Sept. 30. He blamed the Biden administration for not answering "key questions" about its response to the conflict.

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Johnson also stated that he would prefer any additional supplemental to be paired with US-Mexico border funding, despite his support for Ukraine.

"No one wants Vladimir Putin to prevail. I'm of the opinion that he wouldn't stop in Ukraine. If he was allowed, he'd go through all the way through Europe," Johnson told The Post last month.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged congressional Republicans to pass the funding amid Ukraine's ongoing war with Russia. Without additional aid from Congress, Zelensky warned, Ukraine would "lose the war."

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