House Speaker Mike Johnson Says McConnell-Schumer Ukraine Deal Is DOA

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., stands to vote for himself for speaker, as House Republicans try to elect a speaker, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) issued a stark critique of the Senate’s proposed $95.3 billion foreign aid package on the eve of a pivotal vote, asserting that it fails to address key border security measures.

In his public remarks, Johnson targeted the lack of provisions regarding border security, stating, “The Senate’s foreign aid bill is silent on the most pressing issue facing our nation.” He indicated a refusal to consider the package in the House should it pass the Senate, asserting that without any border policy amendments from the Senate, the House is compelled to assert its own position on these critical issues.

Johnson’s pointed words occurred just as the Senate was making headway with the foreign aid supplemental — earmarking funds for Ukraine, Israel, and allies in the Indo-Pacific region — through a triplet of procedural votes.

This recent announcement by the Speaker on Monday night is not the first instance he has expressed skepticism about Senate-devised foreign aid packages this month. His repeated opposition casts doubt over the passage of Ukrainian aid in Washington, a divisive topic within the ranks of the Republican Party and more so within the House GOP conference.

A notable figure opposing further aid to Ukraine is former President Trump, who aligns such rebuff with his “America First” policy and has called on Republican senators to follow suit. Additionally, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has warned that she might motion to unseat Johnson should he present the Ukraine aid proposal for a House vote.

For several months, Johnson has consistently maintained that any potential aid for Ukraine should be paralleled with legislation on border security, which is perceived as a concession to GOP legislators who are wary of allotting more funds to Kyiv.