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15 Apr, 2024 23:53

US House speaker to put Ukraine aid bill to a vote – media

Mike Johnson has reportedly unveiled a plan to pass the legislation after months of impasse
US House speaker to put Ukraine aid bill to a vote – media

US House Speaker Mike Johnson has promised to advance the long-stalled Ukraine aid bill sought by President Joe Biden this week, multiple news outlets reported on Monday.

The proposed legislation has been stuck in Congress for months due to a bitter dispute between Democrats and Republicans.

According to reports, Johnson told Republican colleagues at a closed-door meeting that he intends to allow the House to vote on a standalone bill this week that would ensure additional military aid to Kiev. The House will also be expected to vote on separate bills providing more aid to Israel and Taiwan. 

“We know that the world is watching us to see how we react,” Johnson told reporters after a meeting with GOP legislators, as quoted by the New York Times. He added that the leaders of Russia, China and Iran are “watching to see if America will stand up for its allies and our interests around the globe – and we will.”

House Republicans have previously refused to back the foreign aid bill unveiled by Biden in October, which includes $61 billion in assistance for Ukraine.

The legislation has been held up for months, with the GOP trying to force the White House to crack down on the influx of illegal migrants via the southern border. Biden's 2024 election rival, former President Donald Trump, previously urged Republicans to block the bill, arguing against unconditional aid for Ukraine.

The delay in approving more weapons for Ukraine has rattled President Vladimir Zelensky and other officials in Kiev, who are blaming mounting battlefield losses on shortages of foreign-supplied ammunition and air defenses. “If Congress does not help Ukraine, Ukraine will lose the war,” Zelensky warned last week.

Russia, meanwhile, has repeatedly stated that no amount of foreign assistance will change the outcome of the conflict, and accused the West of escalation.