Throwdown: Speaker Johnson Brushes Off Mitch McConnell Ukraine Funding Push, Says House ‘Certainly’ Will Not Vote on Senate Plan

Throwdown: Speaker Johnson Brushes Off Mitch McConnell Ukraine Funding Push, Says House ‘Certainly’ Will Not Vote on Senate Plan

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) stuck a dagger in the Senate’s hard-won $95 billion foreign aid package Tuesday afternoon, almost assuredly killing the bill’s chances of becoming law.

In a Capitol Hill hallway, Johnson said the House will focus on the upcoming appropriations deadlines, ignoring the bill the Senate passed before sunrise Tuesday after an all-night session.

“I certainly don’t right now,” Johnson told Punchbowl News when asked if he sees a scenario in which he would put the bill on the floor for a vote. “We’re dealing with the appropriations process. We have immediate deadlines upon us in that. That’s where the attention of the House is in this moment.”

Johnson indicated Monday night before the vote that the Senate was wasting its time working to pass a foreign aid package without first taking meaningful steps to secure the border, stating “America deserves better than the Senate’s status quo.”

McConnell took a victory lap after Tuesday morning’s vote, issuing a statement saying in part, “History settles every account. And today, on the value of American leadership and strength, history will record that the Senate did not blink.”

History appears set to record his package’s death before reaching a House vote.

House Democrat leaders insist they will use all procedural tools at their disposal to bring forth the bill or another form of foreign aid. The most likely of those tools is the discharge petition.

But to circumvent Johnson and bring the bill to the floor, a discharge petition would require at least a handful of Republicans join with Democrats in a highly unusual rebuke of a Speaker. And not all Democrats support the aid bill, primarily the growing pro-Palestinian wing of the party.

Despite Johnson’s statements, McConnell apparently will continue what he sees as a legacy-defining push to prolong the war in Ukraine.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pose for a photo at the U.S. Capitol on July 27, 2023, in Washington, DC. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

An email from a McConnell staffer reviewed by Breitbart News shared an op-ed by conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt arguing Johnson should do the noble thing by sacrificing his speakership in order to pass the massive foreign aid bill.

That step possesses remarkable ramifications indicative of McConnell’s priorities.

If past is prologue, were Johnson to lose his gavel, the House would remain deadlocked for several weeks or longer, well through the March 1 deadline to fund the government.

The push from his staffer indicates that McConnell would welcome a government shutdown in exchange for providing tens of billions in American taxpayer aid to the foreign governments.

That position is unlikely to be popular within McConnell’s Senate Republican Conference. Less than half joined the Minority Leader in voting for the foreign aid bill, but it is doubtful all those would welcome a shutdown of the government in a presidential election year in exchange for the aid.

McConnell’s leadership has increasingly come under fire, with some of his colleagues even calling for him to be replaced, as the party has drifted away from the old-school establishment politician who has found more common cause with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) than his Republican colleagues.

Perhaps no issue is more emblematic of the widening schism than additional funding for Ukraine’s stalemate war against Russia, which has grown increasingly unpopular with the Republican base.

McConnell and his remaining allies have perhaps never seemed more out of touch than in prioritizing foreign aid over border security.

In widely-panned remarks on the Senate floor Monday, pro-endless Ukraine funding Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) claimed, “The vote we will soon take to provide military weapons for Ukraine is the most important vote we will ever take as United States senators.”

Polling continues to show Americans are much more concerned with border security and immigration, crime, and the economy than funding foreign wars.

Bradley Jaye is a Capitol Hill Correspondent for Breitbart News. Follow him on X/Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.


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