Apr 15, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Mike Johnson hit with bipartisan pressure on Ukraine aid

House Speaker Mike Johnson, wearing a blue suit and holding a gavel as he stands in the House chamber.

House Speaker Mike Johnson. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is facing ramped up pressure from both sides of the aisle to hold a vote this week on a foreign aid package that includes military assistance to Ukraine.

Why it matters: Johnson has said the House will vote on aid to Israel this week, but not whether that will include Ukraine and Taiwan aid.

  • Democrats have formed a unified front in demanding a vote on the Senate's $95 billion aid package to the three countries, as well as Gaza.
  • Without Democratic votes, Johnson will likely struggle to pass a standalone Israel aid package.

Driving the news: House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) sent out a scathing "dear colleague" letter on Monday blasting Johnson for not holding a vote on the $95 billion package months after it passed the Senate.

  • "Extreme MAGA Republicans are out of excuses. The Ukrainian people are out of time," Jeffries wrote, calling this week a "Churchill or Chamberlain moment."
  • A Johnson spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Zoom in: Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), the chair of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East, joined 90 House Democrats on a letter to Johnson demanding an "immediate vote" on the Senate bill.

  • Led by Wilson and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), the letter was signed by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and former Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).
  • Wilson's break with Johnson comes after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), in the wake of Iran's drone attack on Israel on Sunday, called for the House to pass the Senate bill.

What to watch: The House will vote on a raft of bills sanctioning Iran and its proxies and House Republicans are set to huddle Monday evening to discuss foreign aid.

  • Johnson, meanwhile, faces a threat from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) to try to remove him from power if he holds a Ukraine aid vote.
Go deeper