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 October 31, 2023

Speaker Johnson's Ukraine views set up battle with Biden, McConnell

House Speaker Mike Johnson's (R-LA) decision to split funding bills for Israel and Ukraine is setting up a division between his efforts and the Biden administration, as well as with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the Senate.

The House returns to session on Wednesday, with a bill to provide emergency aid to Israel the first bill on the agenda.

The issue

"House Republicans plan to pass a bill with $14 billion in aid for Israel, but they wish to offset the cost of the foreign aid, as Johnson’s team hopes to splinter Democrat unity," Breitbart News reported.

"Biden, Schumer, and McConnell want to pass Ukraine and Israel together in a larger supplemental package without offsets for the foreign aid," it added.

Johnson's view

"We are going to move a standalone Israel funding bill in the House," the Louisiana Republican said on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures."

"Our Republican colleagues in the Senate have a similar measure. We believe that is a pressing and urgent need," he continued.

The conflict

"Johnson’s remarks Sunday follow some Republicans demanding the U.S. stop funding Ukraine’s efforts in their war against Russia," Forbes reported.

"That internal battle among House Republicans contributed to the government nearly shutting down at the end of September after some House members did not want the U.S. to continue to fund the efforts," it noted.

The change comes as Biden proposed a $105 billion spending package that included Israel and Ukraine, including financial support for other regions.

Johnson believes his stand-alone funding measure focused only on Israel will have more agreement from both parties to move forward in the House and Senate.

Biden may not approve of the plan but it's a key strategic move that is would be hard for Democrats to turn down with Israel at war after attacks from Hamas and will have full support from Republicans as Johnson's first bill as Speaker.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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