"MAGA Mike" Fails His First Test as Speaker
The new Speaker is employing a cynical and dangerous strategy on funding for Israel
Speaker Mike Johnson has been on the job for a week, and he is already failing his first test. This week, the House will consider a series of bills related to Israel, including $14 billion in aid.
On the surface, this seems like a return to business as usual for the House of Representatives. After weeks without a Speaker, they are again legislating on critical issues facing the U.S. But there is more than meets the eye.
Johnson’s strategy will delay aid to Israel and endanger funding for other U.S. priorities.
Johnson’s Cynical Strategy
Earlier this month, President Biden asked Congress for $106 billion, including:
$61 billion to Ukraine and to replenish the U.S. weapons stockpile;
$14 billion for Israel;
$9 billion for humanitarian assistance in Israel, Ukraine, Gaza and elsewhere; and
$11 billion for border security.
The rest of the money is earmarked for Taiwan and domestic priorities.
Unsurprisingly, Republicans oppose several portions of Biden’s request and are divided over sending more money to Ukraine. The House Republicans would never pass Biden’s request as submitted. Prior to being nominated as Speaker, Johnson promised to decouple the highly popular Israel aid from the Ukraine funding. In that sense, his approach is unsurprising. He chose the most cynical and least productive option.
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