Apr 5, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Schumer to "keep pressure on" Johnson to pass Ukraine aid

Chuck Schumer, wearing a dark blue suit, light blue shirt and gold tie, and Mike Johnson, wearing a dark blue suit, light blue shirt, red-and-blue striped tie and glasses, sitting in front of a wood-paneled wall.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Mike Johnson. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Friday said he will "keep pressure on" House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to pass aid to Ukraine when Congress returns to session next week.

Why it matters: Johnson has signaled will move on an aid package next week, but is still trying to convince two-thirds of his chamber to get behind a bill and stave off a possible right-wing coup.

Driving the news: In a "dear colleague" letter on Friday, Schumer said he will "continue to keep pressure on the House to act" on the Senate's $95 billion bill to provide aid to Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and Palestinian civilians.

  • The Senate passed the measure in February, but it has sat dormant in the House amid persistent Republican opposition to the Ukraine portion.
  • House Republicans are unlikely to hold a vote on the Senate bill in its current form, but the alternative is still taking shape.
  • Johnson has floated splitting the package into multiple pieces, structuring the Ukraine aid as a loan and attaching several proposed cost offsets in an attempt to tamp down possible right-wing retribution.

What he's saying: "I have spoken with Speaker Johnson, and I believe that he understands the threat of further delaying the national security supplemental," Schumer wrote.

  • "However, Speaker Johnson has to ultimately decide for himself whether or not he will do the right thing for Ukraine, for America and for democracy around the world or if he'll allow the extreme MAGA wing of his party to hand Vladimir Putin a victory."
  • Schumer added that he is "confident that if [Johnson] puts it on the floor, it will pass."

What to watch: While Johnson decides how to proceed, some House Democrats are pushing for an additional $9 billion in humanitarian aid to a variety of global hotspots.

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