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The Hill: White House criticizes Johnson for going on recess without approving Ukraine aid

by Olena Goncharova February 16, 2024 5:49 AM 2 min read
U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson makes his way to a House Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 6, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
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The White House criticized U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson for starting House recess without voting on a Senate-approved Ukraine aid package. The bipartisan funding measure, passed by the Senate on Feb. 13 with 70 votes, includes aid for Ukraine, Israel, and other allies.

Johnson contends that the Senate bill lacks the stricter border security measures requested by House Republicans, and he refuses to advance it in the lower chamber. White House spokesperson Andrew Bates, in a memo obtained by The Hill, criticized Johnson for prematurely starting the recess, accusing him of exacerbating harm to national security.

"Every day that Speaker Johnson causes our national security to deteriorate, America loses. And every day that he puts off a clean vote, congressional Republicans’ standing with the American people plunges," Bates said. "Running away for an early vacation only worsens both problems."

Republicans who had insisted on tying aid to Ukraine with border security measures contended that the proposed package was inadequate. Johnson declared it dead on arrival in the House, a stance in line with former President Donald Trump's strategy to use border issues as a political weapon against President Joe Biden.

House GOP leadership has scrapped votes scheduled for Friday, and the House is now scheduled to reconvene in Washington on Feb. 28 following the President’s Day recess.  

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