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Trump praises House speaker after vote on Ukraine aid

by Kateryna Denisova April 23, 2024 11:32 PM 2 min read
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an event at the Mar-a-Lago Club April 4, 2023 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Former U.S. President and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump voiced support for House Speaker Mike Johnson, who allowed a vote on military aid for Ukraine after months of delays, the Guardian reported on April 23.

The House of Representatives approved a $61 billion aid package for Ukraine on April 20. The Senate is expected to advance the bill as early as April 23, whereupon U.S. President Joe Biden will sign it into law.

Democratic and Republican lawmakers, along with Biden, have been urging Johnson for months to bring the bill to the House for a vote while hard-line Republican lawmakers close to Trump opposed further assistance for Kyiv, reportedly pressuring House Speaker not to call a vote.

While meeting with Johnson in Florida on April 12, Trump said that aid to Kyiv could be provided in the form of a loan.

Johnson's decision to hold a vote sparked backlash from the right flank of the Republican Party, with lawmaker Marjorie Taylor Greene threatening to trigger a motion to remove Johnson from his position.

Trump offered a defense of Johnson, saying in a radio interview on April 22 that Republicans have in the House now an actual majority of one vote, which "is not like he (Johnson) can go and do whatever he wants to do."

“I think he is a very good person. You know, he stood very strongly with me on NATO when I said NATO has to pay up… I think he’s a very good man. I think he’s trying very hard,” Trump was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

He also praised Johnson for converting $9 billion of aid to Ukraine into a "forgivable loan." This sum will be allocated to the war-torn country as economic assistance in the form of loans that can be forgiven by the president with Congress's approval.

Some 101 Republican House members voted in favor of the Ukraine aid bill, 112 voted against, and one voted present. Meanwhile, among Democrats, 210 House members voted yes, with none opposing the bill.

Reuters reported, citing unnamed American officials, that the U.S. is already preparing a military aid package for Ukraine worth $1 billion.

Some of the U.S. military aid for Kyiv is already reportedly in Germany and Poland, cutting down the time needed for the weapons and equipment to reach the front line.

How Johnson came to allow a vote on Ukraine aid after months of delays
After more than six months of hedging, backtracking, and unfulfilled promises, U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson finally allowed a vote on aid for Ukraine, which was passed on April 20. President Joe Biden made a request to Congress in October 2023 for $61 billion in aid for Ukraine. Following
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