Updated Apr 14, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Johnson says House GOP will "try again" to pass Israel aid

House Speaker Mike Johnson, wearing a blue suit, white shirt, red and blue tie and glasses, clapping in the House chamber.

House Speaker Mike Johnson. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said Sunday the House will "try again" to pass military aid to Israel in response to a large-scale Iranian drone attack.

Why it matters: It's not clear whether that will include aid to Ukraine and Taiwan, which many Democrats say is necessary to pass along with aid to Israel.

  • "It's now imperative Speaker Johnson immediately allow the House to vote for the bipartisan national security package that passed the Senate two months ago," the center-left New Democrat Coalition said in a statement.

The latest: President Biden convened a call Sunday afternoon with Johnson, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) "to discuss Iran's unprecedented attack against Israel," per a White House statement.

  • "On the call, the President discussed the urgent need for the House of Representatives to pass the national security supplemental as soon as possible," according to the Sunday evening statement.

Driving the news: In an appearance on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures," Johnson recounted House Republicans' previous failures to pass aid to Israel and said "we are going to try again this week."

  • "The details of that package are being put together now. We're looking at the options and all the supplemental issues," he added.
  • Asked by host Maria Bartiromo about Ukraine aid, Johnson said "we'll send our package – we'll put something together and send it to the Senate," but didn't say if it would be wrapped in with Israel aid or voted on this week.

Flashback: In the immediate aftermath of the drone attack, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) said the House's schedule next week would be changed in response.

  • "The House will move from its previously announced legislative schedule next week to instead consider legislation that supports our ally Israel and holds Iran and its terrorist proxies accountable," he said.

The backdrop: Previous GOP efforts to pass a standalone Israel aid package after Oct. 7 have died due to Democratic opposition.

What they're saying: Several of Johnson's staunchly pro-Ukraine committee chairs said in Sunday show interviews they expect a Ukraine aid vote soon.

  • "I have a commitment that it will come to the floor. My preference is this week," said Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-Texas) in a CBS' "Face the Nation" interview, adding that he planned to talk to Johnson on Sunday evening.
  • House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he anticipates a Ukraine aid vote this week "and I expect it to pass."

Between the lines: Johnson faces a threat from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) to force a vote on his removal as speaker if he holds a vote on Ukraine aid.

  • "That's a distraction," Johnson said on Fox News. "What Marjorie has done with the motion to vacate is not helpful for our party."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of the White House statement. It has also been corrected to reflect that House Speaker Mike Johnson appeared on Fox News, not Fox Business.

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