Vote this week on US aid for Ukraine uncertain – AP

House speaker Johnson is working on a complex plan to tie Republican policies to Democrat-favored requests, the news agency said

The chances of the US House voting this week on an Ukraine aid package are becoming slimmer, as Speaker Mike Johnson faces internal Republican party pressure over his legislative plans, according to a report from the Associated Press. The congressional leader spent hours on Capitol Hill on Tuesday discussing strategies with fellow representatives on how to ensure that policies that his party considers a priority can pass through the chamber alongside the Democrat-requested funding, the AP said. With no draft document produced, “passage of any aid this week [is] in serious doubt.”

The White House has been urging Johnson for weeks to put to a vote a $93-billion bill passed by the Senate in late February. The proposal provides for security assistance for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan as well as humanitarian aid for Gaza. Johnson has recently indicated that he would support sending more money to Kiev, if it were a loan rather than a grant. This week additional pressure was put on him, after an Iranian retaliatory attack on Israel, which the Jewish state stopped with help from the US.

According to the AP’s report, the speaker is considering a complicated approach, which would break the Senate bill down into separate votes. The Senate would then have to vote on whatever legislative product comes from the House. The Republican party wants the security of the US southern border to be tied to the spending proposal. Johnson may also push for confiscation of Russian assets in US jurisdictions and for sanctions against Iran, the AP added. During the Republican meeting, the speaker reportedly warned hardcore opponents of Ukraine aid, that an alternative to his plan would be for Democrats to force a vote on the Senate bill through procedural maneuvers. Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky reportedly urged Johnson to resign. The previous House speaker, California’s Kevin McCarthy, was ousted from the position by his own party for alleged backroom dealing with Democrats on Ukraine.

Proponents of funnelling more money into Kiev have been touting it to increasingly skeptical American voters, stating that most of the funds would be spent at home to bolster defense manufacturing.