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LNG pause language uncertain in aid fight

Apr 16, 2024
Illustration of cylindrical gas storage containers painted with exclamation points.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The LNG export permits pause is a big question mark for the House GOP's foreign aid proposal.

Why it matters: The latest chaos gripping the GOP conference might mean it loses an opportunity to roll back the pause, or make a political point.

A quick rundown of where we are:

  • Speaker Mike Johnson floated tying language on the LNG pause to a Ukraine supplemental package weeks ago.
  • As Republicans came out of conference meetings Monday night and Tuesday morning, they told us that it was still under discussion but wasn't explicitly mentioned as part of Johnson's latest foreign aid gambit.
  • Now, at least two Republicans are threatening Johnson's speakership, and there's uncertainty about whether they'll be able to pass a rule to get the proposal to the floor.

Zoom in: Rep. Buddy Carter told Axios he expects that at the very least, a Republican would offer an amendment on the LNG pause if the bills make it to the floor.

Our thought bubble: Much depends on how this potential provision is written.

  • Just nine Democrats supported the GOP's stand-alone bill to rescind DOE's export approval power, and this issue would be a poison pill for many progressives.
  • "This is a rare opportunity for us to exercise leverage," Rep. Garret Graves told reporters. "This is the second time where we're going to be squandering the opportunity to get some of our wins."
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