Speaker Johnson undermines Trump on Ukraine; Outrages Conservatives

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U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson is drawing fire from conservatives in Congress for his pushing of the Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity (REPO) Act for Ukrainians. The REPO act would allow the administration to seize between $5 to $8 billion in Russian assets and use the money to finance Ukraine’s recovery.

Congressman J.D. Vance (R-OH) has noted that the bipartisan legislation could be used by Donald Trump’s opponents to control him should he be reelected to another term.

Vance notes that the legislation would freeze current sanctions on Russia and would require an act of Congress to change it. Still, he points out, that’s a decision the president should be making.

According to Politico, earlier this month, Speaker Johnson floated the Russian asset seizure proposal as a way to respond to a Biden administration request for more aid for Ukraine.  Johnson also said that Republicans are also weighing an expansion of U.S. natural gas exports to “unfund” Russia’s war effort.

Conservative Republicans are pushing back against the Speaker’s actions with Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) telling Johnson that he’s ready to cosponsor the Motion to Vacate that was introduced by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

The conservative resistance to the ongoing flow of aid to Ukraine reflects a growing dissatisfaction with a D.C. establishment that is placing greater emphasis on looking out for foreign nations and U.S. arms contractors than on the needs of the American people.

April 17, 2024 | 14 Comments »

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14 Comments / 14 Comments

  1. @Peloni On the other other hand – that’s the problem with dialectics, it only has room for one thesis, one antithesis and one synthesis (though to be fair, it does have the unity of opposites which nonetheless has zero relevance here despite the catchy name; google it) – with no League of Nations, there would have been no San Remo.

    Wilson was sympathetic to Zionism.
    “Wilson also pledged support for the aims of the Zionist movement. In 1917, he endorsed the Balfour Declaration that viewed with favor “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” As the son of a Presbyterian minister, he intimated, he considered it “a privilege to restore the Holy Land to its rightful owners.”

    https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/woodrow-wilson-was-a-hero-to-jews

    But, so was Lodge.

    “Senators Henry Cabot Lodge, of Massachusetts, and Charles Curtis, of Kansas (a future vice president) and Rep. Hamilton Fish, Jr., of New York, all Republicans, agreed to take the lead on a pro-Zionist resolution. They were isolationists and immigration restrictionists—not exactly the Jewish community’s favorite kind of politicians. Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, head of the American Jewish Congress, had recently denounced Lodge as “un-American and anti-American” because he opposed U.S. participation in the League of Nations.

    Successful lobbying, however, is the art of the possible. Many Jewish leaders may have been personally more comfortable with Democrats, but in 1922, the president was Republican and the GOP enjoyed large majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. If three powerful Republican congressmen were ready to champion the Zionist cause, why should they be turned away?

    The Lodge-Fish resolution, as it came to be known, declared that “the United States of America favors the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” It added that “the civil and religious rights of Christian and all other non-Jewish communities in Palestine” and “the holy places and religious buildings and sites” should “be adequately protected.”

    https://jewishjournal.com/commentary/opinion/349171/100-years-ago-this-month-when-congress-embraced-zionism-unanimously/

  2. @Sebastien

    Henry Cabot Lodge attached a rider that made Wilson oppose his own bill.

    Indeed, Lodge’s speech opposing the Internationalist Wilson and his League of Nations is among my favorite of historical speeches, and I have an excerpt of it hanging on my wall. As Wilson recognized and stated at the time, Lodge’s amendments would not have led to the ratification of the League of Nations, but to the nullification of it. Nationalists and Internationalists have no common ground on which to barter, it is a sum zero game, one in which the American nationalists won after WWI and in which the American internationalists won after WWII.

  3. @dreuveni

    I think most comments are missing the mark.

    Either Johnson is a Deep State hack who is willing to work with Trump, or he is being leveraged to support these legislations, likely with threats to his continued control of the House. Either way, the removal of Johnson from being speaker at this juncture provides a very real (read as likely) possibility of ether him being replaced with either a Dem or RINO who is not willing to work with Trump, and both of these scenarios have seriously unpleasant implications for the coming election. Priorities must be secured, and the priority right now should be to maintain stability in the House with Johnson in place. The Reps have altogether too few votes to tempt such a schism as is now being pressed by Greene and the foul Massie. In fact, I would argue that there is simply too much currently at risk for such irresponsible actions as these, no matter how egregious any of us might judge Johnson’s betrayal(s) to be.

  4. @Peloni The Treaty of Versaille and the Covenant of the League of Nations which President Wilson had championed were defeated in Congress by a close vote because the Republican Senate majority leader and chair of the foreign relations committe, Henry Cabot Lodge attached a rider that made Wilson oppose his own bill.

  5. I think most comments are missing the mark. Johnson is supporting Democrat bills to the detriment of his own party. Getting several issues combined into one bill makes it too easy to slip in things that, to put it mildly, needn’t be there.

  6. @Laura

    The House GOP needs to stop letting the small minority hijack the party.

    Indeed, the attempt to marginalize the input of MAGA into his caucus is precisely why McCarthy used funds from SBF to diminish the MAGA candidates during the 2022 election, specifically to keep them as a “small minority”. So now instead of having a larger majority in the House with a variety of Reps with which to build a consensus, the Reps have a sliver thin majority, which has empowered these individuals to override the formation of any consensus. This is a lesson worth learning. Big tents are more stable, more responsible and more representative of the people whom they are intended to serve.

    Of course, until this lesson is learned and the fraud is reduced to something less impactful, we are where we are. Hopefully Johnson will survive this attempt to bring him down, and I suspect that he will, but time will tell.

  7. Aid to Israel is being held up by Republicans who oppose aid to ISRAEL, that would be Massey and Green. The bills for Ukraine and Israel are separate, so they can’t use that excuse. As of now, anyone holding up this aid package or votes against it exposes themselves as anti-Israel.

    Mike Johnson is a good man. If these nutjobs keep creating turmoil in the House and with the speakership, they will be fully responsible for Biden getting a second term. The House GOP needs to stop letting the small minority hijack the party.

    So far, aid to Israel has been held up by Republicans who oppose aid to Ukraine

  8. @Sebastien

    So far, aid to Israel has been held up by Republicans who oppose aid to Ukraine

    Also, they wanted to use the support for aid to Israel to leverage the passage of border regulations for the southern US border, as well as aid packages for both Taiwan and, of all things, Gaza. The gross manipulation of the support for a key ally in the midst of a war by the supporters of all of these other irrelevant measures have demonstrated the mendacious nature in which legislation is formed around a key legislative objective to which is added language requiring the funding for literally thousands of extraneous and irrelevant, if not contrary, projects. This is how they forced Trump, who desperately wanted to rebuild the military, to sign the 2018 Omnibus bill which included such irrelevant key items as offensive arms for Ukraine, which Trump later tried to delay and for which they pursued impeachment preceding against him.

  9. Ted

    Please be careful. You as editor must be clear and say …. Are you for or against

    Please

    Johnson announced that he will present different bills. One for Ukraine and One for Israel. He is separating them.

  10. Inna1

    Why are you posting on this site since you are saying two opposing things at the same time

    1. Ukraine is corrupt

    2. You support giving it money

  11. It sounds not bad what Johnson is proposing, but what kind of recovery can be as the war in Ukraine lasts? They need weapons, another Lend Lease, that’s all. Otherwise, Ukraine will not get rid of the Russian invasion, and the “recovery” will be forever. The money will be spent on no one knows what – we know how corrupt the Ukrainian administration is. What does it have to do with Trump? Trump knows what he is doing.