Latest News 16-04-2024 00:01 3 Views

Johnson to pitch House GOP on Israel, Ukraine aid plans in closed-door meeting

House Republican leaders are convening an unusual Monday night meeting to discuss the path forward on aid to Israel and Ukraine.

Iran’s attack on Israel over the weekend prompted an outpouring of support for the Jewish nation from Republicans and Democrats, with House GOP leaders pledging to take up a host of legislative measures to support Israel.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has vowed to act swiftly on some kind of funding for Ukraine as Russia’s invasion continues into a third year and Kyiv finds its stores of ammunition and weapons severely depleted without more U.S. aid. 

Three senior House GOP aides told Fox News Digital that they expect Ukraine and Israel funding to be topics of discussion at Monday night’s meeting. A fourth House GOP aide also confirmed they will discuss Iran’s attack.

House lawmakers on both sides of the aisle normally meet with their respective parties the morning after they begin their weekly legislative session, giving them time to arrive back in Washington from around the country. 

However, the tense state of international affairs prompted Johnson to call House Republicans together for 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

Iran launched a barrage of missiles toward Israel over the weekend, the vast majority of which were intercepted. 

Leaders in the White House and Senate used the attack to put renewed pressure on Johnson to pass the Senate’s $95 billion supplemental funding bill with aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. Johnson has passed two standalone Israel aid bills so far, neither of which was taken up by the Democrat-controlled Senate.

However, Ukraine is a politically fraught issue for Johnson as he navigates a razor-thin two-seat House majority and a growing number of Ukraine aid skeptics in his conference.

One of those skeptics is Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who has previously suggested ousting Johnson from power if he put that funding package on the House floor.

One of the three senior House GOP aides who spoke with Fox News Digital said Johnson received pushback from members over the weekend regarding the idea of combining funding for Ukraine and Israel this week.

Nevertheless, Johnson has been circulating ideas on Ukraine aid that have gotten bipartisan support, including a lend-lease option that former President Trump, the de facto leader of the Republican Party, signaled he could support.

'We’re looking at it right now, and they’re talking about it, and we’re thinking about making it in the form of a loan instead of just a gift,' Trump said of Ukraine aid during a press conference with Johnson at Mar-a-Lago on Friday. His support would be a powerful insulator for Johnson against Ukraine critics, the vast majority of whom support the ex-president.

The other proposal is a bipartisan measure that would liquidate seized Russian assets and then use those funds as aid to Ukraine. It is being called the Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity (REPO) for Ukrainians Act.

Timing on a possible vote this week is not immediately clear. Two of the four House GOP aides who spoke with Fox News Digital said they expect at least Israel funding to get a vote this week. One of those two anticipated a vote on some kind of Israel and Ukraine combined package that would be different from the Senate’s $95 billion bill.

The House Majority Whip’s office did not list any Israel or Ukraine funding bills on its expected schedule on Monday morning but advised lawmakers that 'additional legislative items related to security supplemental appropriations are possible.'

Fox News Digital reached out to Johnson’s office for comment.

Speaking on 'Sunday Morning Futures' this past weekend, Johnson suggested he wants the House to take up Israel aid this week for a third time.

'The details of that package are being put together right now,' he said. 'We’re looking at the options and all these supplemental issues.'

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner, R-Ohio, meanwhile, told NBC's 'Meet The Press' that Johnson 'made it clear' that he wants a House vote this week on some kind of aid funding for Israel and Ukraine.


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