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Johnson Says House Will Vote on Stalled Aid to Israel and Ukraine


Speaker Mike Johnson on Monday said he planned this week to advance a long-stalled national security spending package to aid Israel, Ukraine and other American allies, along with a separate bill aimed at mollifying conservatives who have been vehemently opposed to backing Kyiv.

Mr. Johnson’s announcement, coming after he has agonized for weeks over whether and how to advance an infusion of critical aid to Ukraine amid stiff Republican resistance, was the first concrete indication that he had settled on a path forward. It came days after Iran launched a large aerial attack on Israel, amplifying calls for Congress to move quickly to approve the pending aid bill.

Emerging from a meeting in which he briefed G.O.P. lawmakers on his plan, Mr. Johnson said he would cobble together a legislative package that roughly mirrors the $95 billion aid bill the Senate passed two months ago but is broken down into three pieces. Lawmakers would vote separately on a bill providing money for Israel, one providing funding for Ukraine and a third with aid for Taiwan and other allies. They would cast a fourth vote on a separate measure containing other policies popular among Republicans.

“The overall concept is the same” as the Senate-passed bill, Mr. Johnson said. “It’s the same places that the funding would be sent, and you’ll see the House’s take on it.”

In addition, the House would take up legislation that would require that some of the aid to Ukraine to be paid back and that some of it be financed by selling off Russian sovereign assets that have been frozen. That package also would include a bill that could ban TikTok, which passed the House overwhelmingly last month but has since languished in the Senate.

It is not clear whether the convoluted strategy will be successful in the House, where Mr. Johnson has a tenuous hold on his divided conference and a bare majority. Its success would require a complicated mix of bipartisan coalitions around each piece of the package. Both Senators Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, had urged Mr. Johnson to pass the Senate-passed aid package as is.

But some Republicans said breaking the package into separate bills was preferable. Representative Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, which counts a majority of House G.O.P. lawmakers as members, emerged from the meeting with an early endorsement of the plan.

“I think the speaker is doing the right thing,” Mr. Hern told reporters.

In recent weeks, both publicly and privately, Mr. Johnson repeatedly vowed to ensure that the House would move to assist Ukraine. He had toiled to figure out a way to structure a foreign aid package that could secure a critical mass of support in the House in the face of bitter Republican opposition to sending aid to Kyiv and mounting skepticism among Democrats of unfettered military aid for Israel.

Hanging over his head is a threat of ouster from Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who had previously vowed to move to depose Mr. Johnson if he advanced funding for Ukraine without securing sweeping concessions from Democrats on border security.

Ms. Greene emerged from the closed-door briefing on Monday furious at Mr. Johnson’s plan. But she told reporters that she had not decided whether to force a vote yet on the speaker’s ouster.

“This is such a scam, and people are done with it,” she said.

Mr. Johnson in has grown increasingly vocal about the urgency of sending aid to Kyiv, arguing that the United States has a role to play in beating back Russia’s invasion.

“We understand the role that America plays in the world,” he said last month. “We understand the importance of sending a strong signal to the world, that we stand by our allies and we cannot allow terrorists and tyrants to march through the globe.”

Carl Hulse contributed reporting.

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