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Speaker Johnson says House will move on Ukraine aid when Congress is back in DC

Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., suggested the House of Representatives will act in the coming weeks to get more funding to Ukraine.

‘When we return after this period, we’ll be moving a product. But it’s going to, I think, have some important innovations,’ Johnson told Fox News’ ‘Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy.’

Both the House and Senate are currently on the second week of a two-week recess, when lawmakers are working in their home districts. The House is back on Tuesday, April 9.

Johnson said he has been ‘working to build consensus’ on a supplemental national security and foreign aid package, though he signaled it would look different from prior attempts. He said the House would ‘be moving it right after the district work period.’

It comes after Republicans killed a $118 billion package with aid for Ukraine, Taiwan, Israel and the U.S. border earlier this year, arguing it did not go far enough to tackle the ongoing border crisis. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and President Biden have been pressuring Johnson to take up a slimmer $95 billion package without border measures.

‘We’ve been trying to use that as the only leverage we have to force change on the border. We’re still trying to force the president to use his executive authority, and most of the American people know that he has that authority. He’s not using it,’ Johnson argued. 

On Ukraine specifically, he said, ‘There’s a lot of things that we should do that make more sense and I think we’ll have consensus around.’

Johnson highlighted three details specifically – the first being the REPO Act introduced in the House last year by Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, which would liquidate seized Russian assets and send that as assistance to Ukraine. 

The speaker also pointed out that former President Trump recently floated the idea of aid to Ukraine in the form of a loan, though he did not mention specific terms save for Kyiv paying Washington back if they win the war against Russia.

‘Even President Trump has talked about the loan concept where we set up – we’re not just giving foreign aid – we’re setting up a relationship where they can provide it back to us when the time is right,’ Johnson said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a Trump ally, told NBC News’ ‘Meet The Press’ last month that the ex-president would back such a loan being forgivable and interest-free.

Johnson described the third proposal, ‘And then, you know, we want to unleash American energy. We want to have natural gas exports that will help unfund Vladimir Putin’s war effort there.’

Biden is facing bipartisan pushback to his administration’s pause on exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), with some critics accusing him of giving Russia greater control over the market and thus more money to fund its invasion.

Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., told Fox News Digital last month that Biden is ‘sending very mixed messages to Ukraine’ with his energy policies.

‘On one hand, he says he supports Ukraine, but on the other, he is helping fund Putin’s war efforts by putting billions of dollars of money in the pocket of Vladimir Putin by allowing him to sell his energy on world markets, by shutting off American energy,’ Scalise said.

Fox News Digital reached out to Johnson’s office for more specifics on timing and was referred back to his interview remarks.

The Sunday interview included some of Johnson’s most specific comments on Ukraine aid yet, as bipartisan pressure grows with the situation for Kyiv growing more dire in the face of Russia’s vastly greater resources.

However, Johnson is also taking heat from a small but vocal faction on his right flank for supporting Ukraine aid at all.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who filed a motion to oust Johnson in late March over passage of a bipartisan $1.2 trillion government funding deal, blasted him on Monday morning for his stance.

‘If Speaker Johnson gives another $60 billion to the defense of Ukraine’s border after he FULLY FUNDED Biden’s deadly open border, the cruel joke would be on the American people. And it won’t be April Fools,’ she wrote on X.

Johnson said Sunday that he and Greene had exchanged text messages and would be speaking next week.

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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