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House Majority Leader: 'No agreement reached' on Ukraine aid funding as negotiations with White House continue

by Dmytro Basmat April 12, 2024 6:13 AM 2 min read
U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson (C) walks to a Senate Republican luncheon alongside Sen. Rick Scott and Sen. Ron Johnson on Nov. 1, 2023, in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
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Republican House Majority Leader Steve Scalise told reporters on April 11 that an agreement had not yet been reached on advancing a Ukraine aid funding package as negotiations between U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson and the White House continue to unfold.

Scalise told reporters that Speaker Johnson is negotiating a package that deviates from the $60 billion Ukraine aid package that the Senate approved on Feb. 13, and includes several Republican demands, according to the Associated Press.

Scalise provided no details as to what concessions House Democrats and the Biden administration would have to make in order for the aid funding to be brought to the House floor for a vote.

Recently, Johnson has pushed aid funding to be tied to the Biden administration lifting a pause on approvals for Liquefied Natural Gas exports. Over the past month, Johnson has also pondered splitting Ukraine and Israel aid into two separate bills, providing aid to Ukraine as a loan, and using seized Russian assets to supplement the aid funding.

"There’s been no agreement reached," Scalise said. "Obviously there would have to an agreement reached not just with the White House, but with our own members."

Johnson has faced increased pressure and dissent from far-right House Republicans, who initially blocked Ukraine aid funding due to border security disagreements.

In late March, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene filed a motion threatening to oust Johnson from his position if the Speaker brought the proposed Ukraine aid to the House floor for a vote.

Republican Congressman Don Bacon said on March 31 that a vote to remove Johnson would be "very likely" if he allowed Ukraine aid to be brought to the floor, and that it was possible the move could be successful.

According to the Associated Press, Johnson will meet with former President Donald Trump, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, on April 12 to consult with Trump on his support for the aid funding package. In January, Trump allegedly told members of his party not to pass legislation on the border, as he plans to run on the issue in the general election.

House Speaker Mike Johnson previously rejected the Senate approved aid bill on the grounds that it did not address the ongoing crisis at the southern border, but has since signalled his intentions to eventually bring forward a funding package for a vote.

Johnson initially promised to hold a vote on aid for Ukraine following the end of the Easter holiday, but top Republicans contradicted Johnson's timeline stating that the aid vote would be weeks away.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly called on Congress to pass a funding bill, stating that "Ukraine will lose the war" if the U.S. Congress does not pass the aid funding package, amid increasing weapons and ammunition shortages.

Zelensky: Ukraine will lose war if US Congress fails to deliver aid funding
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on April 7 that Ukraine will lose the war against Russia if the U.S. Congress fails to approve military aid to Ukraine.


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