House Speaker Mike Johnson Throws Cold Water On Senate Foreign Aid Bill

The Republican leader said the House would "work its own will" but didn't rule out allowing a vote on the legislation.

WASHINGTON ― House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) suggested Monday that the House would not vote on a foreign aid bill working its way through the Senate this week.

Johnson complained in a statement from his office that the Senate legislation, which would provide billions of dollars in aid for Israel and Ukraine, did not have any provisions aimed at reducing migration into the U.S. from the southern border.

“Now, in the absence of having received any single border policy change from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own will on these important matters,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s statement did not explicitly rule out allowing the House to vote on a Senate-passed foreign aid bill. A spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for clarification.

If the House voted on the legislation, it would likely pass with support from both Republicans and Democrats ― an outcome that could put Johnson in danger of losing his job. A faction of far-right Republicans threw Johnson’s predecessor out of the speaker’s office following a bipartisan vote to avoid a government shutdown last fall.

The foreign aid bill would provide $95 billion worth of military support to Israel, Taiwan and Ukraine. Senators initially paired the aid with several changes to immigration laws aimed at ramping up deportations in an effort to placate Johnson, but he declared that legislation “dead on arrival” in the House, saying such legislation was pointless with President Joe Biden in office. The Senate then moved to a bill containing just the foreign aid.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who helped negotiate the border proposals with Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), complained on social media, in a lowercase rant, that Johnson had reversed his position.

“the speaker said he wouldn’t pass ukraine funding without a border deal and we got a deal and then he killed the deal because he said we didn’t need a deal and now he says he won’t pass our ukraine funding bill bc it doesn’t include a border deal,” Murphy wrote.

“honestly,” Murphy added. “wtf.”

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