A bipartisan Senate proposal to aid Ukraine and other foreign nations was rejected by House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) on Monday, casting new doubt on whether or not Congress will approve the assistance prior to the November elections.
The Senate legislation, which, among other foreign aid provisions, would provide billions of dollars in military assistance to Israel and Ukraine, was approved in the upper chamber early Tuesday morning with the support of only a small handful of Republicans.
However, Johnson is unequivocally indicating that he will not introduce the bill to the House floor due to its failure to incorporate the more stringent border security measures that House Republicans initially laid out for discussion months ago.
Two years after Ukraine’s war with Russia began, the Speaker’s stance is a jab at his Senate counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), who is vying for additional funding for Ukraine’s beleaguered military forces.
It also squares House Republicans with former President Trump, the presumptive frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, who opposes additional aid to Ukraine and is exerting pressure on Republican leaders in Congress to follow suit.
Johnson’s dissent towards the Senate bill does not definitively end the deliberation on Ukraine funding within the chambers of Congress.
However, this reduces the range of possibilities available to Congress in order to enact the bill.
A few avenues appeared viable for the Speaker to pursue in order to approve new funding for Ukraine, for which he declared his support shortly after assuming the gavel of the House of Representatives in October.
He was presented with the following options: introduce the Senate bill directly to the floor, divide the package into individual bills for one-by-one ratification, or attach it to mandatory government funding bills that are scheduled for debate in early March.