U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson will support a standalone bill that includes defense funding for Israel but not for Ukraine, Johnson said in an interview with Fox News on Oct. 29.
“There are lots of things going on around the world that we have to address, and we will,” Johnson said. “But right now, what’s happening in Israel takes the immediate attention and I think we’ve got to separate that and get it through.”
Johnson also expressed confidence that a bill focused exclusively on funding for Israel would garner bipartisan support.
The newly elected House Speaker has thus far resisted calls from President Biden to support a combined military aid package that would entail $60 billion in funds for Ukraine and $10 billion for Israel.
As one of ex-President Donald Trump's most loyal supporters in Congress, Johnson has criticized U.S. aid to Ukraine. In May 2022, Johnson voted against a $40 billion aid package to Ukraine, claiming that his focus lies with solving domestic affordability challenges.
The dynamics surrounding the call for increased funding for Ukraine continue to divide U.S. political leaders. President Biden, a staunch supporter of Ukraine, has continuously reaffirmed U.S. support for Kyiv and called on allies to stand with Ukraine against ongoing Russian aggression.
A Louisiana Republican, Johnson was elected speaker on Oct. 25, filling the seat left empty for weeks after the ousting of Kevin McCarthy.