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Johnson risks his job over Israel, Ukraine votes

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House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has set up a week of controversy, political posturing and even risked his own job this week over federal funding for Israel, Taiwan, and Ukraine.

The Senate passed a $95 billion aid package earlier this year that combined Israel and Ukraine funding that included $60 billion for Ukraine and $14.1 billion for Israel.

That bill made no progress in the House so far, but the escalating tensions between Iran and Israel have pushed the issue to the forefront.

“I have just spoken with the [House GOP] conference on my plan to address national security supplemental legislation on the growing security crises,” Johnson wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Monday.

Johnson went on to say the House would consider bills to “Fund our ally Israel” and “Support Ukraine in its war against Russian aggression” as well as “Strengthen our allies in the Indo-Pacific” and “Pass additional measures to counter our adversaries and strengthen our national security.”

Iran fired a barrage of largely unsuccessful missiles at Israel over the weekend, the latest in ongoing tensions between the two nations.

Israel has vowed a response. Iran’s attack was unsuccessful in large part because the U.S. helped shoot down Iran’s attack.

The increased tensions have upped the pressure on Johnson to pass the Senate aid bill; however, increased funding for Ukraine has become increasingly controversial among Republicans.

In fact, Johnson now faces calls for his removal for pushing for Ukraine funding. Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted from the speakership just months ago when a handful of disgruntled Republicans, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., refused to vote for McCarthy after a motion to vacate was filed.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, R-Ga., has already filed a motion to vacate Johnson. on Tuesday, she gained a supporter.

“I just told Mike Johnson in conference that I’m cosponsoring the Motion to Vacate that was introduced by [Greene],” Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., wrote on X. “He should pre-announce his resignation (as Boehner did), so we can pick a new Speaker without ever being without a GOP Speaker.”

House Democrats have also been outspokenly opposed to Johnson’s plan.

“Following last weekend’s unprecedented response by Iran to Israel’s attack on its consulate, the Republican Majority is explicitly leveraging a series of bills to further escalate tensions in the Middle East,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said in a statement. “This is a blatant attempt to distract from their own incompetence.”

Senate Democrats have been outspoken as well, calling on Johnson to pass the previous funding measure that already passed in the Senate.

“The new House strategy to pass four separate national security bills sounds like a recipe for purposeful failure,” Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., wrote on X. “Speaker Johnson should just call up the Senate Ukraine/Israel/humanitarian bill for a vote. It would pass.”

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