Nov 27, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Speaker Johnson "confident" aid for Ukraine, Israel will pass House

Mike Johnson on Nov. 14 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Photo: Anna Rose Layden/Getty Images

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said on Monday that he's "confident and optimistic" Congress will be able to approve aid to Israel and Ukraine before the holidays.

The big picture: Congress has been grappling with responding to the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, but dysfunction in the lower chamber has hindered its ability to legislate.

Driving the news: "Israel is a top priority for the United States and supporting our ally there is critical," the recently elected speaker said when asked about the aid package during an event in Florida on Monday.

  • He noted he was texting with Senate colleagues involved in negotiations during his flight down.
  • "Ukraine is another priority," he added. "What we've said is that if there is to be additional assistance to Ukraine — which most members of Congress believe is important — we have to also work on changing our own border policy.

The comments came a day after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) pledged to bring an emergency aid package with funding to Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and potentially border security as soon as next week.

  • Johnson said Monday his Senate colleagues "recognize" that foreign aid and funding for U.S. border security "need to move together because we owe that to the American people."

What he's saying: Johnson said the supplemental funding packing should be ready "in the coming days."

  • "We have a sense of urgency about this, and there are deadlines on it as well. So, I'm confident and optimistic that we'll be able to get that done," he said.

Yes, but a supplemental spending bill passed by the Senate will likely lead to tense negotiations with the House.

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