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Johnson 'confident and optimistic' Israel and Ukraine aid will clear House

The House previously approved an Israel-only aid package that included matching cuts to the IRS, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer rejected.

Published: November 27, 2023 4:43pm

House Speaker Mike Johnson on Monday expressed optimism that the lower chamber would ultimately approve aid to both Ukraine and Israel, but doubled down on his prior insistence that aid to Ukraine be tied with border security measures.

"We have a sense of urgency about this, and there are deadlines on it as well. So, I’m confident and optimistic that we’ll be able to get that done," he told reporters at an event in Florida, The Hill reported. His comments come as the Senate plans to vote on a White House-backed aid plan to both nations, as well as Taiwan. The House previously approved an Israel-only aid package that included matching cuts to the IRS, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer rejected.

"Israel is a top priority for the United States, and supporting our ally there is critical. It’s one of the first things we did... It’s been sitting on this in the Senate and on Chuck Schumer’s desk. And so we are encouraging him to get that done," Johnson told reporters. "Ukraine is another priority. Of course, we can’t allow Vladimir Putin to march through Europe."

"And we understand the necessity of assisting there. What we’ve said is that if there is to be additional assistance to Ukraine — which most members of Congress believe is important — we have to also work on changing our own border policy," he continued.

President Joe Biden's proposed $106 billion aid package includes roughly $61 billion for Ukraine, $14.3 billion for Israel, $14 billion for the border with Mexico, $10 billion for humanitarian aid, and smaller allocations for other security purposes.

The White House has hoped to pair Israel and Ukraine aid in the same legislation, in part due to the mounting opposition among Republicans to continued support for Ukraine. Support for Israel, however, remains broadly popular and the administration has hoped that sentiment would help Ukraine aid overcome congressional skepticism.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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