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What will Johnson do with the Senate foreign aid bill?

What will Johnson do with the Senate foreign aid bill?

 


For Speaker Mike Johnson, 110 days on the job, a critical decision is coming.

At some points In the coming days, the Senate appears poised to pass a $95 billion package that includes aid to Israel, Taiwan and Ukraine. Johnson will then have to decide how to handle this package in the House of Representatives.

Here they are his options.

1) Ignore it. That's not much of an option, but Johnson might just decide to ignore the pack. Remember that more than half of the House Republican Conference voted against a September bill that would have provided Ukraine with $300 million. It will be dangerous for Johnson's domestic politics to put any bill with Ukraine's money on the House floor. However, given the fact that Johnson has said that funding for Israel is critical and has at least acknowledged that the United States should fund Ukraine, we can't imagine that Hell will completely ignore the package.

2) Legislative maneuvering. During a news conference last week, Johnson was noncommittal about how he would handle the legislation as it moves through the Senate. But Johnson said he thought Congress should address these issues on their merits. In other words, Johnson clearly doesn't like the fact that billions of dollars for Israel, Taiwan and Ukraine have been lumped together in one bill.

Johnson has several options here. He may divide the question, as it was referred to in the House of Representatives. In other words, Johnson could design a process that decides individual votes on aid to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan. That would require cooperation from the House Rules Committee, which is effectively controlled by hard-line conservatives.

Johnson can, in theory, put individual bills on the floor for each of the parts of the Senate package. We don't think hell goes that way.

Or Johnson could simply pass the Israel-only aid package he tried to push through the House last week and allow the Senate to replace it with his own package when he returns from recess. That's a possibility after the debate in recent weeks over a GOP-drafted Israel-only bill.

3) Request for discharge. If Johnson does nothing, Democrats and GOP supporters of Ukraine can try an impeachment petition to force the bill to the floor provided they get 218 supporters. But getting there would not be easy.

Has a Existing impeachment petition with 213 Democratic signatures (H. Res. 350). But a number of those Democrats may turn away from aid to Israel. How much? It's unclear, but there would be some.

Pro-Ukrainian Republicans would be lobbied to come on board, but they have to overcome huge pressure from their leadership not to because of the border security argument. Ex president Donald Trump which NATO's comments are a big problem because the party is another matter here.

Yet say all this can be exceeded and 218 members from both parties sign the resolution. This would be the worst option for Johnson because it would effectively give the floor to the Democrats. However, if he doesn't come up with a plan for the Senate bill, that could happen.

Sen. Thom Tillis (RN.C.), who supports the foreign aid package, told us Sunday that he has been talking to House members about an impeachment petition. Tillis said this may be required to finally send the bill to the President Joe Biden table.

There is a general belief that we should do it, Tillis said of his conversations. Hopefully this is something that Speaker Johnson will just take because I believe you would have significant support for him in the Republican Conference whether it's a majority or not, I don't know.

And Senator Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), a former member of the House of Representatives who is still close to his former colleagues, said he believes the speaker understands the importance of passing the relief bill after several classified level announcements. high.

noted Mull that there are too many hawks in the House GOP Conference and said he has talked with House members about various scenarios, including an impeachment petition.

Jake Sherman, Andrew Desiderio and John Bresnahan

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