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Newsmax: Speaker Johnson Needs Dems to Get Ukraine Aid Vote to Floor

  |   By Polling+ Staff

 Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

In case anyone wonders why there is opposition to Speaker Mike Johnson in his own party, this Newsmax headline can quickly explain the answer:

Speaker Johnson Needs Dems to Get Ukraine Aid Vote to Floor

The story reports:

“House Speaker Mike Johnson will need the support of the chamber’s Democrats and their party leader, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., to get an aid bill for Ukraine to the floor for debate, putting the Democrats in a position of power over the measure and further angering Republicans calling for a vote to vacate Johnson’s seat.

Johnson will also need the Democrats’ votes to pass the legislation, but needing their votes on the procedural motion to bring the legislation to the floor is an unusual expectation, reported The New York Times

Johnson Needs Democrats on Ukraine, Handing Them Power to Shape Aid Plan

The Republican speaker’s elaborate strategy for passing a foreign aid package over his party’s objections will r…

For years, it has been a foregone conclusion that party members would agree in a straight-line party vote to bring a bill to the floor, even if they did not plan to approve it once it got there, but in recent years, House Republicans have been blocking routine rule votes.  

If Johnson seeks out the Democrats’ help, it will mark the second time in two years that a Republican speaker has had to turn to the opposing party. It would also allow Democrats to strongly influence any changes in the bill and how the aid package would be structured. 

It could also mean that Johnson will need the Democrats to save his seat, as GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Thomas Massie of Kentucky are closer to calling a vote for his ouster. 

“We’re steering toward everything [Senate Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer wants,” Massie said Tuesday. 

Republicans haven’t released the text for four bills making up an aid package for Israel, Ukraine, and other allies, but Democrats are already making their demands. 

Jeffries told members of his caucus Tuesday that he will not support a package that includes less than $9 billion in humanitarian aid included in the Senate’s already-passed national security bill. However, House Republicans have pushed through an aid bill for Israel omitting humanitarian aid for Gaza and some are saying that aid for Ukraine should only be for military spending. 

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., recently named chair of the Appropriations Committee, commented Tuesday that he expects the humanitarian aid will be included.

Democrats are also saying they are concerned Republicans will want amendments on the bill including legislation that will bring back the strict immigration policies from the Trump administration.  

Last year, then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy turned to Democrats to bring up the debt ceiling bill that he had negotiated with President Joe Biden. This led to Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., to call for the vote to oust him, and Democrats would not vote to save his job. 

Meanwhile, Democrats say they are optimistic about getting a bill moving forward for aid to Ukraine. 

“If what the speaker is bringing is the Senate bill chopped up — just procedurally different but policy-wise the same — I can’t see why we would get in the way of that,” Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., commented.”

Whether Speaker McCarthy or Speaker Johnson, neither seems to get it. If your Conference doesn’t support X – in this case spending (McCarthy) or funding Ukraine (Johnson) – then concentrate on keeping your Conference together behind a different position. But don’t – do not – go to Democrats for a vote that gets something passed that your own Conference opposes. Otherwise the obvious question: Why are you leading your Conference in the first place? Which in leads to members calling to vacate the Speakership.

Not hard to understand, or shouldn’t be.