Mike Johnson Promises to Unblock Aid to Ukraine, But With Major Changes

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.14 - 2024 12:58 PM CET

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, promises to unblock aid to Ukraine, but with fundamental changes.

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House Speaker Mike Johnson, in discussions with Republican senators on Wednesday, indicated that the House of Representatives is planning its own version of support for Ukraine, significantly different from the Senate's package approved last month.

Reported by The Hill, Johnson stated that he would "work to get the House to agree" on a resolution to support Ukraine and understood the importance of that.

"No one wants Vladimir Putin to take the mountain. I think he will not stop at Ukraine (…) and go further to Europe... In this situation there is a right and a wrong side, good against evil, and Ukraine is a victim here," Johnson said. However, he also noted that the House's version might diverge from the Senate's bill.

In communication with fellow senators, Johnson had to answer numerous questions about the "dead end" with the approval of aid to Ukraine.

According to the senators present at the discussion, Johnson stated that the House of Representatives will prepare a proposal to support Ukraine through loans or lend-lease agreements to protect American taxpayers' interests. This new approach would need approval from both the House and the Senate.

Additionally, Johnson discussed a proposal, similar to one by Republican Mike McCaul, that would allow for the confiscation of Russian assets to support Ukraine. However, Johnson did not specify if the proposal would include measures related to the U.S. southern border, which could be a contentious point for Democrats.

Senators John Cornyn, Kevin Cramer, and Lindsey Graham expressed optimism following their conversation with Johnson, with Cornyn relaying Johnson's commitment to ensuring Ukraine does not leave "empty-handed."

The Ukrainian government has expressed willingness to accept financial aid from the U.S. on credit to expedite Congressional approval.

The US State Department, commenting on the idea of ​​aid in the form of a loan, said that "burdening Ukraine with billions in foreign debt" in the conditions of a full-scale war is not appropriate.

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