World

Democrats consider helping Speaker Johnson pass Ukraine aid

Congressional Democrats Thursday met to consider helping Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson pass billions in aid to embattled Ukraine — and keep his job.

With Johnson finally pushing a long-delayed Ukraine aid package, Democratic lawmakers say they will do whatever it takes to make sure it passes in the face of bitter opposition from right-wing hardliners.

But Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries urged lawmakers to keep their powder dry when it comes to backing the GOP leader’s move and coming to Johnson’s aid if MAGA critics move to oust him.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., speaks with reporters to discuss a proposal of sending crucial bipartisan support to aid Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan after weeks of inaction on Capitol Hill Wednesday, April 17, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., speaks with reporters to discuss a proposal of sending crucial bipartisan support to aid Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan after weeks of inaction on Capitol Hill Wednesday, April 17, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

Johnson has broken months of silence by emphatically getting behind aid to Ukraine, the most controversial part of a four-part foreign aid package.

The Republican leader’s move sparked howls of outrage from far right-wing GOP lawmakers, who vowed to do whatever they can to block the aid to help repel Russia’s invasion of the Western ally.

A large majority of the House backs the Ukraine aid package, but Republicans are split more or less down the middle.

That dynamic means Democrats may have to take the very rare step of giving Johnson a boost by backing a procedural move to bring the measure to the House floor, which the opposition party usually opposes in lockstep.

Democrats want the Ukraine bill to pass as soon as possible and are pushing Johnson to move it up from the current plan for a Saturday evening vote.

If the Ukraine aid bill passes, it could spur at least two Johnson critics to push forward with a so-called motion to vacate, or a move to oust him as speaker.

In the nearly evenly divided Congress, the hardliners could easily deny Johnson a needed majority to stay in power if all Democrats vote against him as would normally be expected.

It’s unclear if Democrats might toss Johnson a lifeline by staying on the sidelines of that vote if it happens or what concessions they may demand in exchange for potential backing.

Veteran Rep. John Garamendi (D-California) said the American people should take note that Democrats are flexing their power to move important legislation forward with Johnson acting basically as a figurehead.

“Everything that needs to be done….will be done by the Democrats,” he told CNN. “Republicans are in disarray. They cannot get the job done on their own.”


Related posts

Paul McCartney becomes first UK billionaire musician

Daily

Everything You Need to Know About Bridal Beauty Treatments in 2024

Daily

Why You Desperately Need a Digital Spring Cleaning

Daily

Leave a Comment