May 28, 2024

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Mike Johnson gives impassioned speech on Ukraine as he challenges MAGA

Mike Johnson gives impassioned speech on Ukraine as he challenges MAGA

House Speaker Mike Johnson said he would “take a personal risk” by going ahead with his plans for a House vote on foreign aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, as Republican lawmakers continue to demand he vacate the presidency.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on sending additional aid to Ukraine and Israel on Saturday as part of $95 billion in military funding. The package is divided into four bills, the third related to issuing funding to Taiwan. The fourth measure includes imposing sanctions on Russia, China, and Iran, in addition to measures that allow the confiscation of the frozen assets of the Russian Central Bank to help Ukraine.

Seeking to appease the more right-leaning wing of the Republican Party, Johnson announced a fifth bill to provide more funding for security measures on the southern border with Mexico – a policy that many in the GOP have made clear a top priority. Each bill requires a separate vote.

When reporters asked him why he was willing to lose his job by moving forward with the foreign aid plan at the Capitol on Wednesday evening, Johnson replied: “My philosophy is you do the right thing and let the chips fall where they may. I worked out of fear of an eviction order. I would never be able to do that.” “With my work.”

“History is judging us for what we do. This is a critical time now – a critical time on the world stage,” he said.

Newsweek Contact Speaker Johnson's office for comment via email and outside regular business hours.

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Johnson's move comes after months of political stalemate that saw the original Senate bill on the $95 billion aid package sidelined since February. The Senate proposal allocated $60 billion in military aid to Ukraine, $14 billion to Israel, $8 billion to Taiwan, and about $10 billion in humanitarian aid.

This comes after months of pressure from US allies who warned that new military aid from Washington was necessary to prevent Ukraine's defeat at the hands of Russia.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on April 17, 2024 in Washington, DC. Johnson addressed critics in his party…


The Speaker of the House's decision to now send the legislation to the House floor comes with severe political risks. His party's right wing has indicated it will move to oust him as Speaker if he follows through with the foreign aid package – a move the party succeeded in October when Johnson's predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, was removed from office.

Two Republican members of Congress have so far publicly called on Johnson to hand over the gavel. Republican Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky said he would support the attempt to impeach Johnson and called on him to resign, joining Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who submitted a resolution to vacate the presidency in March.

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Johnson will likely need support from Democratic benches to push through the legislation and remain Speaker of Parliament.

After the bill was published, President Joe Biden said in a statement that he “strongly” supports the package and called on the House and Senate to support the bills.

“I will sign this law immediately to send a message to the world: We stand with our friends, and we will not allow Iran or Russia to succeed,” Biden said.

“I could make a selfish decision and do something different, but here I'm doing what I think is the right thing,” Johnson said. “I believe that providing legal assistance to Ukraine right now is crucial – and I really believe in the intelligence and briefings we have received.

“I believe something [Jinping] Vladimir Putin and Iran are in fact the axis of evil. I think they are coordinating on this matter.

“I think Vladimir Putin would continue his march through Europe if he was allowed to. I think he might go to the Balkans next. I think he might take on Poland or one of our NATO allies.”

“Honestly, I'd rather be sending bullets to Ukraine like American boys. My son will start at the Naval Academy this fall. This is a live-fire exercise for me as it is for many American families.”

The House Speaker said the House could not “play politics” over aid funding, adding that he would “do the right thing” and “give every member of the House the opportunity to vote with their conscience and their will.”

“I'm willing to take personal risks for this because we have to do the right thinking and history will judge us,” he said.