(USNewsMag.com) – The new Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, said the House will be considering funding a bill that would combine aid for Ukraine with border security.
Johnson gave his first formal press conference for Republican leadership since taking the gavel as Speaker and anticipated that he would be able to muster bipartisan support for the legislation. Johnson promised that Ukraine “will come next” and “in short order.”
Johnson reminded his colleagues that they may have heard Johnson speak about wanting “to pair border security with Ukraine” and reiterated that he believes “bipartisan agreement” can be achieved “on both of those matters.” Johnson also suggested that a stand-alone bill for Ukraine aid would fall flat on the House floor, claiming that Americans “feel strongly about this” and that he does “as well.” The Speaker said that although there are things the US “can and should do around the world,” Americans “have to take care” of their own houses first.
The House Speaker said that “as long as the border is wide open,” America is “opening” itself “up for great threats.” Johnson said that as “a matter of principle,” the American border needs to be taken care of if the US is going to concern itself with “a border in Ukraine.” He said he thinks “there’s bipartisan support” for such an idea.
Meanwhile, trying to combine these funds into efforts to aid Israel is more problematic. A separate $14.3 billion package for the Jewish state is the current number, although Biden originally asked Congress for $106 billion for a combined package funding Israel, Ukraine, and border security. Republicans were divided on support for such a proposal, with many in the House strongly opposing it.
Some, like Rep. Ralph Norman, have expressed that they would possibly vote for a combined bill but that it was “highly doubtful.” Norman and others in the House Freedom Caucus have been consistently skeptical of funding the war in Ukraine.
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