U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson told Senate Republicans on Nov. 1 that he supports aiding Ukraine and funding the government through Jan. 15, Politico reported.
Johnson said he would back additional aid to Ukraine, but did not support combining it with funding for Israel. He also said he supported a stop-gap bill to extend government funds after the current bill expires on Nov. 17.
Johnson's remarks indicate the newly elected speaker is open to compromise on Ukraine, an issue that has divided congressional Republicans.
However, Johnson remains strongly opposed to linking Ukrainian aid packages with defense spending for Israel. According to Sen. Roger Marshall, who was present at the Nov. 1 meeting, Johnson said that if a proposed bill combined Ukraine aid with funds for Israel, Taiwan, and U.S.-Mexico border security, "[Johnson's] caucus would revolt and it would probably be the end of the speakership.”
Instead, Johnson told Republican senators that Ukraine aid should be combined with border security funds. Sen. John Cornyn said Johnson described the two issues as "inextricably intertwined."
Following his meeting with Senate Republicans, Johnson spoke with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries. The representative told Politico that they had a “very open, honest, positive and candid conversation," but that Johnson did not present a timeline for passing Ukraine legislation.
The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said on Oct. 31 that President Joe Biden would veto any bill put forth by the House that included aid to Israel without provisions for Ukraine.