Speaker Johnson moving forward with Ukraine aid bill amid pressure from hardliners

Johnson said in a note to members that they will vote on these Saturday evening.

ByLauren Fox, Haley Talbot and Melanie Zanona, CNN
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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WASHINGTON -- Speaker Mike Johnson announced Wednesday he is sticking with his plan to put a series of foreign aid bills on the floor, including funding for Ukraine, after facing significant pressure from hardliners.

Johnson said in a note to members that they will vote on these Saturday evening.

The speaker has been facing mounting pressure to make tweaks to the foreign aid package proposed earlier this week - and not just from his most right-wing members. While conservative House Freedom Caucus members have been sounding the alarm on border security and the foreign aid bills since Tuesday's caucus meeting, the shouts have now spilled into the rank and file.

RELATED: 'I am not resigning': Johnson at risk as he forges ahead on Ukraine, Israel aid

Moderate New York Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis said on Wednesday the speaker should "go back to Biden & Schumer and tell them he needs a border security measure to pass foreign aid." Johnson said in his letter to members that he will bring forward an immigration bill that looks like the House's HR 2.

It all adds up to the most intense pressure that Johnson has faced over his future in his short time as speaker. Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky on Tuesday said he would co-sponsor Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's motion to vacate, which would boot Johnson from the speakership if it passed, leading the speaker to defiantly tell reporters that he would not be resigning.

With Republicans only controlling the House by a razor-thin margin, Johnson may need Democrats to pass the foreign aid bills - and save his job should the motion to vacate come to the floor.

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